Arhivă pentru Iunie 2009

29
Iun
09

Predica la Sfintii Apostoli Petru si Pavel

Predica la Sfintii Apostoli Petru si Pavel  ( 29 iunie )

In tot pamintul a iesit vestirea lor si la margimile lumii cuvintele lor (Psalm 18, 4)

Iubiti credinciosi,

Sfinta noastra Biserica praznuiestre astazi pomenirea Sfintilor si intru tot laudatilor Apostoli Petru si Pavel, cei dintii pe scaun sezatori si propovaduitori ai Evangheliei lui Hristos. Cine dintre fiii Bisericii noastre nu a auzit de numele lor? Cine nu a citit cit de putin despre viata lor? Cine nu s-a indulcit de invataturile lor cele folositoare de suflet care se citesc si se cinta in toate zilele prin sfintele biserici?

Insa, a vorbi dupa vrednicie despre Sfintii Apostoli Petru si Pavel, acesti mari stilpi ai Bisericii lui Hristos, este cu neputinta pentru noi pacatosii, deoarece numai Dumnezeu stie ostenelile, chinurile si nevointele pe care le-au depus ei la propovaduirea Sfintei Evanghelii, dupa inaltarea Domnului la cer.

Insa, avind nadejde in rugaciunile Sfintilor Apostoli, indraznim sa vorbim pe scurt despre viata si unele invataturi din epistolele lor spre lauda ucenicilor lui Hristos si spre folosul nostru sufletesc.

Pe Sfintul Apostol Petru l-a odraslit Betsaida Galileii, fiind fratele mai mic al Sfintului Apostol Andrei si fiu al lui Iona pescarul. Adincurile invataturilor omenesti, neavind de la cine le invata, Simon-Petru, caci asa se chema inainte de alegerea sa, a ramas fiu credincios al tatalui sau, care l-a deprins de mic sa prinda peste in apele lacului Tiberiada, pentru a-si cistiga piinea cea de toate zilele.

Aici, pe malurile Tiberiadei, s-a nascut, a copilarit si a crescut Sfintul Apostol Petru. Aici a deprins el mestesugul pescuitului. Aici a invatat el a visli pe valuri, a cirmui corabia, a infrunta furtunile, a arunca undita in apa, a cirpi mrejile, a rabda truda, a suferi de foame si de sete sau a astepta fara somn, nopti de-a rindul pina putea sa pescuiasca ceva.

Apoi, casatorindu-se si auzind ca Sfintul Ioan propovaduieste despre Mesia, a primit de la el, impreuna cu Andrei, fratele sau, botezul pocaintei in apele Iordanului, nestiind ca aproape de casa sa, in cetatea Nazaretului, locuieste Acela care avea sa fie Dascalul si Invatatorul sau. Si iata ca vine Hristos cel mult asteptat. Iese la propovaduire, trece prin Capernaum si prin Betsaida, coboara la malul Tiberiadei, cauta corabia lui Iona Galileeanul, afla pe Petru, il cheama la Sine, ii schimba numele din Simon in „Chifa”, care se tilcuieste „Piatra” sau Petru si astfel il face pescar de suflete omenesti, sau „vinator de oameni”, cum i-a zis Mintuitorul, cind l-a chemat la apostolie. Din ceasul acela, Petru isi lasa casa si sotia, isi lasa patria si corabia in voia Tatalui, se alatura lui Hristos si devine cel mai rivnitor apostol.

La picioarele Domnului a invatat Petru adincul teologiei. Aici a auzit cuvinte nemaigraite vreodata de om, a vazut minuni nemaiauzite pe pamint, a simtit bucurii nemaicunoscute pina atunci de muritori. Din aceste pricini, Petru a crezut ca Iisus este Hristosul, Fiul Dumnezeului Celui viu (Matei 16, 16), pe Care marturisindu-L a primit de la El cheile imparatiei cerurilor, adica puterea de a lega si dezlega pacatele oamenilor (Matei 16, 19).

Cu rinduiala lui Dumnezeu a fost lasat sa se lepede de Hristos de trei ori, in vremea patimii Sale, din trei pricini: pentru a se smeri mai mult, pentru a plinge mai cu amar in toata viata sa (Matei 26, 75) si pentru a avea mai multa mila de cei pacatosi, fiind foarte aprins pentru Hristos. Dar, dupa Inviere, aratindu-i-se Domnul, i-a incredintat pastoria oilor si a mieluseilor Sai, ca semn ca i s-a iertat pacatul sau.

Dupa pogorirea Sfintului Duh, Sfintul Petru, verhovnicul celorlalti apostoli, se umple de nespusa rivna si putere de sus; leapada frica, arunca valul indoielii, lasa toata nestiinta si incepe primul a vorbi despre Hristos in adunari, pe strazile Ierusalimului, in templul lui Solomon. Peste tot invata, face minuni, vindeca bolnavi, mustra, sufera inchisoare. Si asa, predica Evanghelia fara odihna in Ierusalim, in Samaria, in Iope, in Lidia si ajunge pina la Roma unde, apoi, este rastignit cu capul in jos, in timpul imparatului Nero, dupa dorinta sa, zicind ca nu este vrednic sa fie rastignit asemenea lui Hristos. Sfintele sale moaste se pastreaza, dupa traditie, in biserica Sfintul Petru din Roma.

Sfintul Apostol Pavel era tot evreu de neam, nascut in Tarsul Ciliciei (Turcia de astazi), care, mai inainte de a crede in Hristos se chema Saul. A crescut de mic la picioarele unui mare invatat iudeu, anume Gamaliil. De la el a invatat Pavel adincul scripturilor, tilcul proorociilor, puterea Legii lui Moise, psalmii lui David si sfintenia templului, pentru care era plin de atita rivna.

Nefiind inca luminat cu puterea Duhului Sfint, el nu credea ca Hristos este Mesia cel asteptat. Nu putea intelege taina rascumpararii omului, nu stia ca Petru si ceilalti apostoli vor vina toata lumea la dreapta credinta si ca, nu peste multe zile, va fi si el un apostol al neamurilor, impreuna cu ceilalti doisprezece. De aceea, crezind ca ucenicii lui Hristos sint niste incepatori de eresuri, cu nespusa minie s-a pornit asupra lor ca sa-i prinda si sa-i dea in miinile arhiereilor spre judecata. Pe calea Damascului, insa, i se arata in vedenie Iisus Hristos, ii spune gresala, ii ridica sufletul pina la al treilea cer (II Corinteni 12, 2), ii descopera taina crestinatatii si il trimite sa vesteasca Evanghelia mintuirii la neamuri.

In Damasc a primit botezul de la Apostolul Anania (Fapte 9, 17-18). Apoi a stat trei ani in pustiul Arabiei, pregatindu-se cu multe rugaciuni, cu post si cu lacrimi pentru noua sa misiune. Caci singuratatea intotdeauna inalta pe om, il pregateste pentru jertfe mari, il invata taina rugaciunii adevarate. De aici, Pavel s-a suit la Ierusalim sa vada pe Sfintii Apostoli, de unde a luat apoi porunca sa vesteasca Evanghelia, incepind din Antiohia.

Sfintul Pavel a facut astfel trei calatorii misionare impreuna cu Varnava, cu Sila, cu Marcu, cu Luca si cu Timotei, propovaduind ziua si noaptea, cu timp si fara timp, vestea cea buna, mai intii in Antiohia, in Cipru; apoi in Asia Mica, in Pamfilia, Frigia, Galatia cu cetatile Listra, Iconiu, Derbe, Milet si Efes, unde a patimit multe de la pagini si iudei. Apoi, indemnat de Duhul Sfint (Fapte 16, 9) a trecut in Macedonia si in Ahaia (Grecia), propovaduind in cetatile Filipi, Bereea, Tesalonic, Corint si Atena, unde a grait de pe inaltimile Areopagului si a uimit pe inteleptii ei.

Intarind cu multe minuni cele propovaduite de el, a rinduit in toate cetatile preoti si episcopi la bisericile intemeiate printre pagini, precum pe Timotei la Efes si pe Tit in insula Creta. Apoi marele Apostol Pavel s-a suit pentru ultima data la Ierusalim, unde a fost prins de evrei si tinut in lanturi si in temnita peste doi ani.

In cele din urma, la cererea sa, a fost dus cu mari primejdii la Roma, predicind si aici Evanghelia mintuirii inca doi ani „cu a sa cheltuiala”. Iar in anul 64 dupa porunca aceluias tiran, Nero, a fost prins si i s-a taiat capul, in Roma. Si asa s-a savirsit vasul cel ales, Pavel, Apostolul neamurilor, lasind in urma sa nenumarate biserici si episcopi, impreuna cu paisprezece epistole apostolesti pline de dumnezeiesti invataturi. Dupa traditie mormintul sau se afla la Roma, in biserica „Sfintul Pavel din afara zidurilor”.

Iubiti credinciosi,

Mare este praznicul de astazi, caci praznuim pe doi dintre cei mai rivnitori si mai curajosi apostoli, pe Petru cel foarte rivnitor si pe Pavel, vasul alegerii, cum il numeste Hristos. Petru era un pescar galileean sarac, chemat de Domnul impreuna cu fratele sau mai mare, Andrei, Care le-a zis: Veniti dupa Mine si va voi face pescari de oameni. Si indata, lasind mrejele, au mers dupa El (Marcu 1, 17-18).

Vedeti ca n-au mers singuri la apostolie, ci dupa ce i-a chemat Hristos? Vedeti ca nimeni nu poate fi apostol, episcop, preot si propovaduitor al Sfintei Evanghelii, daca nu este chemat, ales, sfintit prin hirotonie si trimis de Hristos? Astazi sint multi care se socotesc predicatori si propovaduitori ai cuvintului evanghelic, fara a fi chemati de nimeni, fara a fi hirotoniti, adica fara a primi harul Duhului Sfint. Paziti-va de acesti falsi apostoli care fac aceasta din mindrie sau pentru lauda si scopuri pamintesti si care rastalmacesc invatatura Sfintei Evanghelii.

Apoi vedeti cit de repede au lasat Petru si Andrei toate si au urmat lui Hristos? Nu s-a mai gindit Petru la tatal sau, nici la corabie, nici la femeia si soacra sa din Capernaum, caci el era casatorit, ci un singur gind avea: sa urmeze si sa slujeasca lui Hristos pina la moarte, sa invete de la El tainele credintei, sa deprinda de la Mintuitorul smerenia, blindetea, rabdarea, suferinta, iubirea de oameni si iertarea. Sa invete in scoala lui Hristos adincul teologiei, puterea rugaciunii, mestesugul predicarii cuvintului, adica al „vinarii de suflete” pentru imparatia lui Dumnezeu, curajul de a se jertfi pentru Evanghelie si sa primeasca darul facerii de minuni. Si ce credincios a fost Sfintul Petru fata de Hristos! Ca cel dintii dintre toti ii urma si lua cuvintul in numele celorlalti, si implinea poruncile Lui.

Trei ani a stat Sfintul Petru cu ceilalti Apostoli linga Mintuitorul pentru a se pregati sa vesteasca Evanghelia in lume. Dar, pina „nu s-au intarit cu putere de sus”, adica pina nu s-a coborit peste Apostoli harul Duhului Sfint in chip de limbi de foc in ziua Cincizecimii, nici unul dintre ei nu era vrednic si pregatit indeajuns sa-L vesteasca pe Hristos pe pamint si sa-si dea viata pentru El. Ca nu-i de ajuns numai sa vezi minuni, sa vorbesti de Hristos, sa auzi si sa stii Sfinta Scriptura, ci trebuie sa si traiesti Sfinta Evanghelie, sa ai viata cit mai curata, sa implinesti poruncile si sa primesti de sus, prin Biserica, harul Duhului Sfint. Numai asa poti vesti cu adevarat si cu mult folos cuvintul mintuirii in lume.

Odata a intrebat Domnul pe Apostoli: Cine zic oamenii ca sint Eu, Fiul Omului? (Matei 16, 13) Apoi i-a intrebat din nou: Dar voi cine ziceti ca sint? (Matei 16, 15) Atunci Petru a luat cuvintul inaintea celorlalti si a zis: Tu esti Hristosul, Fiul lui Dumnezeu Celui viu. (Matei 16, 16) Si i-a raspuns Mintuitorul: Fericit esti, Simone, fiul lui Iona, ca nu trup si singe ti-au descoperit tie aceasta, ci Tatal Meu, Cel din ceruri. Si Eu zic tie, ca tu esti Petru si pe aceasta piatra voi zidi Biserica Mea si portile iadului nu o vor birui. Si iti voi da cheile imparatiei cerurilor si orice vei lega pe pamint, va fi legat si in ceruri si orice vei dezlega pe pamint va fi dezlegat si in ceruri (Matei 16, 17-19).

Aceasta este cea mai mare marturisire de credinta facuta de Petru. Pe piatra acestei credinte, adica numai pe temelia credintei adevarate, a zidit Hristos Biserica Sa, pe care nici „portile iadului”, adica gurile ereticilor hulitori, nu o vor putea birui. Deci nimeni nu poate pune Bisericii lui Hristos o alta temelie, decit temelia sau piatra dreptei credinte, pusa de Apostoli. Apoi sa intelegeti ca „cheile imparatiei cerurilor” nu le-a dat numai lui Petru, ci tuturor apostolilor si urmasilor lor, episcopi si preoti. Care sint aceste chei? Sint cele sapte Sfinte Taine: Botezul, Mirungerea cu Sfintul Mir, Spovedania, Sfinta Impartasanie, Nunta, Preotia si Sfintul Maslu. Acestea sint cheile date de Hristos Apostolilor si Bisericii Sale. Cu aceste chei descuiem inimile, constiintele, raiul si imparatia cerurilor. Iar fara acestea raminem afara de Biserica, afara de fericire si de imparatia lui Dumnezeu, pentru ca ne lipseste harul mintuirii, ne lipsesc cele sapte chei prin care Biserica descuie raiul, cerul si usa milostivirii lui Dumnezeu. Unii Sfinti Parinti spun ca cheile pe care le-a dat Hristos lui Petru si celorlalti Apostoli o formeaza puterea Duhului Sfint, data lor si preotilor de a lega si dezlega pacatele oamenilor prin spovedanie.

Ce vor face acei crestini care s-au rupt de trupul Bisericii lui Hristos si s-au dus la alte grupari crestine care n-au Biserica si cele sapte Taine? Cine le va dezlega pacatele? Cine si cu ce li se va descuia Biserica cea adevarata, imparatia cerurilor si usa milei Domnului?

Sfintul Apostol Petru a facut si el, ca om, doua pacate mari. Cind a auzit ca Hristos va primi de bunavoie moarte de cruce pentru mintuirea lumii, el, neintelegind taina mintuirii si adincul dragostei lui Dumnezeu, L-a luat pe Domnul la o parte si i-a zis: Milostiv fii Tie, Doamne! Sa nu-ti fie Tie aceasta! Atunci Domnul, stiind ca Satana l-a amagit, l-a mustrat, zicind: Mergi inapoia Mea, satano! Sminteala imi esti, ca nu cugeti cele ale lui Dumnezeu, ci cele ale oamenilor (Matei 16, 21-23).

Mare pacat este a crede cineva ca se poate mintui pe sine si pe altii fara jertfa, fara osteneala, fara rabdare si chiar moarte. Mare pacat fac si acei crestini care smintesc pe copii sau pe cei din jurul lor prin viata si faptele lor rele; sau ii sfatuiesc la pacate, la lepadarea credintei si la fuga de jertfa. Nimic bun nu putem face in viata pina nu ostenim, pina nu rabdam, pina nu lepadam mindria, egoismul, indoiala, frica si toate patimile care ne stapinesc.

Al doilea pacat al lui Petru este lepadarea de Hristos in timpul mintuitoarelor Sale patimi, din cauza fricii. Ca ii spuneau iudeii, cind erau in curtea lui Caiafa: Si tu erai cu Iisus Galileeanul? Iar el de trei ori s-a lepadat, zicind: Nu cunosc pe omul acesta (Matei 26, 69-75). Apoi, cind a cintat cocosul si-a adus aminte Petru de cuvintele Domnului si, iesind afara, a plins cu amar.

Cumplit este pacatul lepadarii de Dumnezeu, al lepadarii de credinta, de Biserica, de Cruce, de icoane, de sfinti si de Sfintele Taine! Cumplit este pacatul si amara suferinta celor ce se leapada de dreapta credinta si merg la secte. Cind si cine le va da lacrimi sa-si plinga acest pacat cu amar?

Dupa inaltarea Domnului la cer, Sfintii Apostoli au primit puterea Duhului Sfint si au plecat in toata lumea sa vesteasca Evanghelia mintuirii si credinta in Iisus Hristos. Atunci si Sfintul Petru a inceput sa semene cuvintul Evangheliei, mai intii in Ierusalim si in Samaria. Apoi, dupa ce i-au prigonit iudeii, a vestit pe Hristos in Bitinia din Asia Mica si mai ales in Italia, pe timpul imparatul Nero, care l-a rastignit pe cruce. De la el ne-au ramas doua sfinte epistole, prin care ne invata calea mintuirii si voia lui Dumnezeu.

Sfintul Apostol Pavel nu facea parte dintre cei 12 Apostoli, nici dintre cei 70. El a fost chemat de Hristos la credinta si la apostolie printr-o vedenie infricosata, cind mergea spre Damasc, in Siria. Un glas din nor i-a spus: Saule, Saule – caci asa il chema mai inainte -, de ce Ma prigonesti? Iar el a intrebat: Cine esti, Doamne? Eu sint Iisus, pe care tu il prigonesti. Apoi din nou a intrebat Pavel: Doamne, ce voiesti sa fac? (Fapte 9, 4-6). Apoi l-a botezat Anania, caruia i-a zis Hristos: Mergi, fiindca acesta Imi este vas ales, ca sa poarte numele Meu inaintea neamurilor si a regilor si a fiilor lui Israel; caci Eu ii voi arata cite trebuie sa patimeasca el pentru numele Meu! (Fapte 9, 15-16).

Asa a fost vinat Pavel de Hristos pentru Biserica si pentru neamuri. El a fost trimis sa vesteasca Sfinta Evanghelie la popoarele pagine, numite „neamuri”. Si a vestit pe Hristos intii in Siria, infiintind prima Biserica crestina in orasul Antiohia. Apoi a vestit Evanghelia in toata Asia mica, precum Galatia, Colose, Efes, Laodiceea si Bitinia. Apoi a trecut in Europa prin Macedonia, unde a poposit mai mult la Tesalonic. A ajuns in Atena si Corint, apoi in Sicilia, Italia, Roma si pina in Spania.

Sfintul Pavel a semanat intii credinta crestina pe pamintul Europei. Ucenicii lui au ajuns apoi in peninsula Balcanica, si pina la nord de Dunare. Iar la gurile Dunarii a vestit pe Hristos, Andrei, fratele Sfintului Petru. Predicile si invataturile Sfintului Pavel sint moralizatoare, adinci, pline de mingiiere si foarte folositoare de suflet. El predica pe Hristos atit prin viata sa sfinta, smerita, ingereasca, cit si prin minunile care le facea si prin frumusetea cuvintelor sale. Acolo unde nu ajungea sau unde nu se mai putea intoarce, scria credinciosilor epistole frumoase, duhovnicesti, din care toti se hraneau si se intareau in dragostea lui Hristos. Din acestea invatam si noi astazi.

Uneori invata pe crestini, zicind: Bucurati-va pururea, rugati-va neincetat; dati multumire pentru toate, caci aceasta este voia lui Dumnezeu, intru Hristos Iisus, pentru voi (I Tesaloniceni 5, 16-18). El alunga intristarea din inimile noastre. Crestinii care au pe Hristos si nadajduiesc in viata viitoare, nu trebuie sa fie tristi, nici sa deznadajduiasca in necazurile vietii. Altfel, prin ce se deosebesc de pagini si de cei pacatosi, care nu au nici o nadejde? Crestinii trebuie sa fie blinzi, smeriti, iubitori de aproapele, cu gindul mereu la Dumnezeu, cu rugaciunea neincetata pe buze si in inima, facind bine tuturor si multumind pentru toate. Celor lenesi le spunea Sfintul Pavel: Cine nu vrea sa lucreze, acela nici sa nu manince (II Tesaloniceni 3, 10). Iar celor care aminau pocainta, le spunea: Rascumparati vremea, ca zilele sint rele.

Asa ne invata Sfintul Pavel si pe noi acum prin frumoasele sale epistole din Noul Testament, pe care va indemnam sa le cititi, macar cite o pagina sau doua pe zi.

Iubiti credinciosi,

In tara noastra Sfintii Apostoli se bucura de o mare cinstire. Nenumarate biserici s-au zidit in numele lor, printre care si Minastirea Cetatuia din Iasi. Numerosi sint si bunii nostri crestini care le poarta cu cinste numele. Astazi in bisericile noastre credinciosii sint dornici sa asculte Sfinta Liturghie, sa se impartaseasca cu Sfintele Taine dupa postul Sfintilor Apostoli si sa cinsteasca pe marii vestitori ai Evangheliei, Petru si Pavel.

Sa urmam invataturile Sfintilor Apostoli, sa le citim viata, epistolele si acatistul lor, ori de cite ori sintem in necazuri si ispite. Apoi sa ascultam de pastorii Bisericii si de preotii pe care ni i-a rinduit Dumnezeu, caci fara Biserica si fara preoti nu ne putem mintui. Feriti-va de tot felul de eretici si sectanti care dezbina casele, satele si unitatea noastra duhovniceasca si urmati invataturii Domnului Iisus propovaduita de Sfintul Apostol Petru si Pavel. Numai preotii sint datori sa vorbeasca cu ei. Sa ascultam, sa ne rugam, sa iertam, sa cerem sfat, sa crestem copiii in frica Domnului si ne vom mintui cu siguranta.

Spune in viata Sfintului Petru ca, pe cind Nero prigonea pe crestinii din Roma, el fugea noaptea afara din oras. Dar un om dumnezeiesc, care semana cu Hristos, mergea repede in cetate. Atunci l-a intrebat Petru: „Unde mergi, Doamne?” „Ma duc sa ma rastignesc a doua oara!” a raspuns El. Era Mintuitorul! Deci Petru a luat curaj, s-a intors, a fost prins de imparat si rastignit pe cruce pentru Hristos.

Deci, si noi crestinii, sa nu fugim de suferinta, de necazuri, de greutati si de moarte pentru Hristos, ci sa-i cerem ajutorul in tot ceasul, ca sintem copiii lui Dumnezeu si ucenicii Sfintilor Apostoli.

Fie ca, prin rugaciunile lor, sa se intareasca credinta in lume, sa ne dea Domnul pastori buni, devotati pentru Biserica si Evanghelie, iar noua tuturor mintuire! Amin.

Parintele Cleopa

29
Iun
09

Obiceiuri de Sfintii Apostoli Petru si Pavel

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Sanpetru de vara

In ceea ce priveste Sanpetru, nu transformarea celor doi sfinti crestini (Pavel si Petru) intr-unul pagan este esentiala, ci atributiile primite de acesta in Calendarul popular, intrucat marcheaza miezul verii agrare si perioada secerisului. Sanpetrul de Vara, a preluat data (29 iunie) si numele Sfantului Apostol Petru din Calendarul crestin. In Panteonul romanesc Sanpetru de Vara este despartit de fratele sau, Sanpetru de Iarna, patron al lupilor, de aproximativ o jumatate de an. In traditia populara Sanpetru apare fie ca personaj pamantean, fie ca divinitate celesta. In vremurile imemoriale, cand oamenii erau foarte credinciosi, Sanpetru de Vara umbla pe Pamant, singur sau insotit de Dumneze. Adesea, Dumnezeu il consulta la luarea unor decizii. In povestirile si snoavele populare Sanpetru este un om obisnuit: se imbraca in straie taranesti; se ocupa cu agricultura, cresterea animalelor si, mai ales, cu pescuitul. Fiind credincios, foarte harnic si bun sfetnic, Sanpetru este luat de Dumnezeu in cer unde ii incredinteaza portile si cheile Raiului. Acolo, fiind mai mare peste camarile ceresti, imparte hrana animalelor salbatice, in special lupilor, fierbe grindina pentru a o marunti prin topIre si a deveni mai putin periculoasa etc. La marile sarbatori calendaristice (Craciun, Anul Nou, Boboteaza, Macinici, Sangiorz, Sanziene) Sanpetru poate fi vazut de pamanteni la miezul noptii, cand se deschide pentru o singura clipa cerul, stand la masa imparateasca in dreapta lui Dumnezeu. Sanpetru este cel mai cunoscut „sfant” al Calendarului popular. Importanta sarbatorii este subliniata de postul care o precede, Postul lui Sanpetru, care, spre deosebire de Postul Pastelui, Postul Craciunului si Postul Santamariei, are numar variabil de zile. Local, sarbatoarea era anuntata de anumite repere cosmice si terestre: aparitia licuricilor, amutitul cucului, rasaritul constelatiei Gainusei si altele. Targul de fete Targul Gainii este o sarbatoare preistorica „tinuta pe Muntele Gaina din Muntii Apuseni si dedicata zeitei neolitice Gaea, protectoare a femeilor maritate, sinonima cu Targul de Fete. Cultul preistoric al zeitei, identificata de etnologi cu Sanziana, Maica Precesta, Dochia, Dragaica, este intretinut de romani, fara sa-si dea seama, prin numeroase sarbatori si obiceiuri, unele desfasurate pe munti (TarguI Gainii, pelerinajul de Santamarie de pe Muntele Ceahlau), altele coborate in zonele de deal si campie (Targul Dragaicei de pe Muntele Penteleu coborat la Buzau). Vechimea multimilenara a sarbatorii zeitei Gaea, devenita ulterior TarguI de Fete de, pe Muntele Gaina, este sustinuta de argumente astronomice (Closca cu Pui, Gainusa sau Clota, care este vazuta pe firmament in perioada solstitiului de vara, cand se tine Targul Gainii), etnologice (Gaina, pasare fantastica, cu aripi si oua de aur, care apare in unele legende din Muntii Apuseni), toponimice (numele Muntelui Gaina din Masivul Apuseni) si altele. Intalnirile solstitiale din Muntii Carpati unde se inaltau rugi divinitati lor celebrate in luna iunie au asimilat de-a lungul timpului functii noi: schimb de produse, petrecere, distractie. Acestea fac parte din patrimoniul cultural si istoric al Vechii Europe. Un joc ritual care se desfasura la solstitiul de vara, mai precis la Sanpetru, a fost atestat si la macedo-romani. Acesta se numea jocul Sclavilor si era executat numai de tineri de la 14 ani in sus. Desi la prima vedere jocul pare a avea ca tema incercarea puterilor, el are semnificatii stravechi care se leaga de ritualul calendarului, de implinirea si victoria fortelor naturii la solstitiul de vara. Este interesant ca unele jocuri ale tinerilor din tinuturile pericarpatice pastreaza elemente din jocul Sclavilor (Pamfile, 1910, p. 156-160). (Ion Ghinoiu) Sfintii Apostoli Petru si Pavel In fiecare an, pe data de 29 iunie, facem pomenirea Sfintilor Apostoli Petru si Pavel. Cei doi apostoli sunt sarbatoriti impreuna pentru ca au murit in aceeasi zi, de 29 iunie a anului 67, in timpul prigoanei crestine declansata de imparatul roman Nero. Sfantul Petru, fratele apostolului Andrei, a fost de origine din Bethsaida, localitate in apropierea Lacului Tiberiadei. Cand si-a inceput activitatea publica, Petru era deja casatorit si se mutase la Capernaum, unde traia impreuna cu soacra sa. Nicaieri nu se face mentiune in legatura cu sotia sa, desi din Epistola intai catre Corinteni 9, 5, se poate deduce ca el si-a luat sotia in calatoriile sale misionare. Textele canonice nu ne spun daca Petru a avut sau nu copii, doar Faptele apocrife ale lui Petru vorbesc despre fiica sa. Adeseori, Petru devine purtatorul de cuvant al celorlalti apostoli. Desi privilegiul prioritar de a fi descoperit ca Iisus este Mesia ii revine Sf. Apostol Andrei (Ioan 1,41), Petru este cel care afirma cu mai multa tarie acest lucru, fapt pentru care Mantuitorul il evidentiaza (Matei 16, 13-20). Cu toate acestea, el este cel care fluctueaza in credinta sa in Hristos, de la afirmare si pana la negare sau lepadare de El. Petru este intre primii ucenici care au sosit la mormantul Mantuitorului, dupa ce femeile anunta invierea Sa, iar dupa inaltarea la Cer, se erijeaza, fara a fi ales de cineva, in conducator al apostolilor, isi exercita rolul de conducator in numirea celui care il inlocuia pe Iuda (Fapte l, 15-22); vorbeste la Pogorarea Duhului Sfant (Fapte 2, 14-41); este unul din cei dintai apostoli care savarseste o minune in numele lui Iisus (Fapte 3, 1-10); ii condamna pe Anania si Safira; savarseste multe minuni; il primeste pe Cornetius in Biserica (Fapte 10, 1-11, 18), ceea ce a fost intepretat ca un prim gest de deschidere a invataturii crestine catre neamuri, desi in disputa cu Sf. Apostol Pavel este cel care sustine cererile iudeo-crestinilor privind observarea practicilor impuse de Lege (Galateni 2, 11-21); iese in evidenta cu ocazia sinodului apostolilor de la Ierusalim (Fapte 15, 7-11). S-a savarsit la Roma, prin moarte martirica, alaturi de Sf. Pavel, in timpul persecutiei neroniene. Petru (nume corespunzand gr. pétros si aram. kepha, cu intelesul de „piatra, stanca”) se lamureste prin Evanghelie: „Iisus, privind la el [la Simon, fratele lui Andrei], i-a zis: Tu esti Simon, fiul Iona; tu te vei numi Chifa [Chefa] (ce se talcuieste: Petru)” (Ioan 1, 42; subl. n.). „Si Eu iti zic tie ca tu esti Petru, si pe aceasta piatra voi zidi Biserica Mea, si portile iadului nu o vor birui” (Matei 16, 18 ) loc invocat abuziv de catolici pentru fundamentarea „primatului papal”. Mostenit din latina populara in forma Chetru (Sanchetru, de la Sanctus Petrus), numele a fost reintrodus ulterior pe filiera greco-slava, formele lui romanesti cele mai raspandite fiind Petru, Patru si Petre (diminutive: Petrut, Patrut, Petrus, Patrus, Petrica, Petrisor etc.), cu femininul Petra (diminutive: Petruta, Patruta, Petrica s. a.). Numele mic Petru sta la originea multor nume de familie (dintre care unele au fost initial tot nume de botez: Petrea, Petrache, Patrascu etc.). Petroniu si Petronela (nume rare la noi, cu caracter neologic si livresc) n-au legatura etimologica cu numele grecesc al apostolului, ci provin din vechiul nume latin Petronius (de la petro, „berbec”). Sfantul Apostol Pavel, „Apostolul neamurilor”, s-a nascut intr-o familie de evrei descendenta din tribul lui Beniamin, in Tarsul Ciliciei, probabil in primii ani ai erei crestine, primind numele de Saul. A fost crescut si educat in traditia fariseica, se pare, la Ierusalim, desavarsindu-si educatia sub indrumarea vestitului rabin Gamaliei. In zelul sau fata de religia parintilor sai, Saul devine persecutor al crestinilor, vazand in credinta crestina un dusman de moarte al traditiei legaliste iudaice. In drum spre Damasc, unde se indrepta pentru a-i aresta pe crestinii de acolo si a-i aduce la Ierusalim spre a fi judecati, Saul traieste momentul de rascruce care ii va schimba definitiv viata. Mantuitorul Iisus Hristos i se arata, invaluit de o lumina stralucitoare, atragandu-i atentia ca cei persecutati nu sunt doar crestinii, ci El insusi, in aceasta identificare a lui Hristos cu cei care cred in El rezida temeiul invataturii pauline despre Biserica, inteleasa ca Trup mistic al lui Hristos. Este botezat de Anania, episcopul Damascului, schimbandu-i-se numele din Saul in Pavel. Dupa o perioada de trei ani in Arabia, merge in Antiohia Siriei, de unde intreprinde cele trei calatorii misionare – in Cipru, Asia Mica, Pamfilia, Frigia, Galatia, Macedonia, Tesalia si Ahaia (Grecia) – dupa care urmeaza captivitatea sa din Cezareea si Roma din anii 61-63. A fost martirizat in timpul imparatului Nero prin decapitare, ca cetatean roman, in acelasi timp cu Petru. Pavel este forma romaneasca a lui Paul (lat. Paullus, explicat prin adjectivul paullus, „mic”), incetatenita sub influenta greco-slava. La noi, formele cele mai raspandite ale numelui au fost Pavel, Paval, Pavlu, Pavle (ultimele trei iesite azi din uz), cu diminutive ca Pavelica, Pavalas, Pavu etc. (pentru femei: Pavelina, Paulina, Polina, cu diminutive rare ca Paulica, Paulita, Pavelica, Pavelita, Pavaluta, Paveluta etc.). Paul (pronuntat uneori Pol si diminutivat mai ales Paulica) si Paula sunt forme neologice, ajunse la noi sub influenta occidentala, mai ales catolica. La fel si Paulin (care apare insa mult mai rar) si chiar Paulina (desi acesta din urma are si unele precedente locale). Ca si numele Petru, Pavel/Paul sta la baza multor nume de familie (Pavelescu, Pavlovici, Paulescu, Paulian etc., etc.).

28
Iun
09

Predica la duminica III dupa Rusalii

Predica la Duminica a III-a dupa Rusalii
( Despre paza mintii si despre purtarea de grija a lui Dumnezeu )

De va fi ochiul tau curat, tot trupul tau va fi luminat (Matei 6, 22)

Iubiti credinciosi,

Cleopa-01989Auzim pe Mintuitorul zicind: Daca lumina care este in tine este intuneric, dar intunericul cu cit mai mult? (Matei 6, 23). Sa intelegem ca aceasta lumina este mintea noastra, caci dupa multi Sfinti Parinti mintea este ochiul sufletului. Cind mintea noastra se va intuneca de pacate, atunci toata asezarea si simturile trupului vor fi intunecate. Caci daca mintea noastra, pe care ne-a dat-o Dumnezeu spre luminare si povatuire la toata fapta buna, va fi intunecata de cele rele, atunci cu cit mai intunecate vor fi poftele trupului nostru, care pururea si prea lesne se pleaca la pacate.

Cind cirmaciul corabiei sau al unui mijloc de calatorie se imbata si se intuneca la minte, atunci cei ce sint in corabie, in avion sau in orice masina cu care calatorim sint in primejdie de moarte. Tot asa cind mintea noastra este intunecata de pacate si de pofte, sufletul nostru este pururea in primejdie sa moara prin pacat. Daca ochiul sufletului nostru, adica mintea va fi curata si fara rautate, atunci si asezarile si lucrarile trupului si ale sufletului nostru vor fi luminate si bine placute lui Dumnezeu. De aceea sfintii au avut mare grija sa fie treji si veghetori cu mintea in toata vremea, pazind-o curata de pacate si de rautate.

Dar nu numai ei se sileau sa aiba aceasta lucrare, adica paza mintii, ci si pe noi ne invatau amanuntit aceasta lucrare. Iata ce zice sfintul Isihie Sinaitul: „Paza mintii este calea a toata virtutea si porunca lui Dumnezeu” (Filocalia IV, 1947, p. 42). Auzim si pe Cuviosul Pimen Egipteanul, zicind: „Nu avem nevoie de nimic, numai de minte treaza” (Patericul egiptean, 1930, p. 186). Avva Agaton a fost intrebat: „Ce este mai mare, osteneala trupeasca, sau pazirea cea dinauntru?”, si a zis batrinul: „Asemenea este omul ca un pom, osteneala trupeasca este frunza, iar paza celor dinauntru este rodul” (Ibidem, p. 27).

Paza mintii este de mai multe feluri. Intii trebuie sa ne pazim mintea de inchipuri patimase. Al doilea, sa ne pazim mintea de orice gind pacatos. Al treilea, sa chemam neincetat numele Domnului nostru Iisus Hristos in ajutor. Al patrulea, sa ne aducem aminte neincetat de moarte, spre a nu gresi inaintea lui Dumnezeu (Filocalia IV, op. cit. p. 45). Nimeni nu-si poate pazi mintea de ginduri rele si de inchipuiri patimase de nu va avea pururea in mintea sa rugaciunea neincetata. Despre aceasta zice Sfintul Isihie Sinaitul: „Paza mintii si rugaciunea se sustin una pe alta. Caci paza mintii vine din rugaciunea neincetata, iar rugaciunea, din paza mintii si din atentia cea mare”.

Toti sfintii si dumnezeiestii Parinti se sileau pururea la pazirea mintii, caci stiau ca fara aceasta sfinta lucrare nimic nu poate spori omul pe calea poruncilor lui Dumnezeu. De aceea, iubitii mei frati, se cade noua a ne pazi mintea de ginduri si imaginatii rele, aducindu-ne aminte de Mintuitorul nostru Iisus Hristos care zice: Privegheati in toata vremea, rugindu-va (Luca 21, 36). Si iarasi: Privegheati, caci nu stiti ziua, nici ceasul cind vine Fiul Omului (Matei 25, 13). La fel Sfintul Apostol Petru ne indeamna la trezvie si la paza mintii, zicind: Fiti treji, privegheati. Potrivnicul vostru, diavolul, umbla racnind ca un leu, cautind pe cine sa inghita (I Petru 5, 8).

Sa trecem cu cuvintul si la alta invatatura despre care am amintit la inceputul predicii noastre, ce se cuprinde in Sfinta Evanghelie de azi. Este vorba de pronia sau, cum ii mai zicem noi, purtarea de grija a lui Dumnezeu pentru intreaga lume. Ati auzit pe Mintuitorul vorbind in Sfinta Evanghelie de azi: Nu va ingrijiti pentru viata voastra ce veti minca, nici pentru trupul vostru cu ce veti imbraca (Matei 6, 25). Apoi, ca sa ne arate bunatatea Sa negraita si purtarea Sa de grija fata de noi si de toate fapturile Sale, ne trimite cu mintea la pasarile cerului, zicind: Cautati la pasarile cerului, ca nu seamana nici nu secera, nici nu aduna in jitnite si Tatal vostru Cel ceresc le hraneste (Matei, 6, 26).

Ca sa va puteti da seama cit de mare este purtarea de grija a lui Dumnezeu pentru pasarile cerului care sint atit de neinsemnate fata de om, voi folosi un exemplu de la Sfintul Vasile cel mare, despre o pasare de mare ce se cheama alcion. Pentru aceasta pasare Dumnezeu tine marea in liniste paisprezece zile pentru a nu-i strica cuibul facut in nisipul marii si a ineca puisorii acestei pasari minunate.

Iata istorisirea Sfintului Vasile: „Aceasta pasare, alcionul, are obiceiul a-si scoate puii la marginea marii. Ea isi pune ouale in nisip linga apa marii si le cloceste pe la mijlocul iernii, cind se pornesc pe mare vinturi si furtuni care cu pornire mare izbesc valurile sale de maluri. Dar toate valurile si furtunile se potolesc si se alina, cind alcionul sade pe oua in cele sapte zile, dupa care ies puisorii din gaoace. Fiindca si de hrana au trebuinta, Datatorul Cel Mare, Dumnezeu, a mai daruit acestei pasari, inca sapte zile pentru cresterea puilor sai. In sapte zile puii acestei pasari pot zbura spre a scapa de apele marii. Aceste lucruri le stiu corabierii de prin aceste locuri si numesc aceste zile „zilele alcionului”.

Corabierii cu corabiile incarcate de marfuri, asteapta sa vina zilele alcionului, spre a porni in largul marii. Ei stiu ca atunci Dumnezeu tine marea in loc, sa nu se tulbure pentru ouale si puisorii alcionului”.

Apoi zice marele Vasile: „Aceasta ti-am pus inainte ca o lege, omule, despre purtarea de grija a lui Dumnezeu catre cele necuvintatoare, spre indemnare, ca sa ceri de la Dumnezeu cele spre mintuirea ta, caci daca pentru o pasare este atita purtare de grija, apoi ce nu s-ar fi facut pentru tine, pe care te-a facut dupa chipul lui Dumnezeu” (Sfintul Vasile cel mare, Omilii la Hexaimeron, Bucuresti, 1986. p. 164).

Sa vedem si purtarea de grija la ariciul de mare. Acesta este o vietate prea mica si nevrednica de bagat in seama. De multe ori se face invatator corabierilor, aratindu-le cind are sa se tulbure marea si cind au sa vina furtuni mari si primejdioase pentru corabii. Aricii cunoscind mai inainte tulburarea marii de furtuni, se vira sub o lespede mica, de care se prind cu piciorusele lor stind in vremea furtunilor. Cind valurile mari ii clatina ei se tin de greutatea lespedei si astfel scapa de a fi aruncati de valuri. Cind vad acest semn, corabierii cunosc din timp pornirea furtunii mari care are sa fie. Si nu pleaca cu corabiile in largul marii, pentru a nu se primejdui. Nici un astrolog, nici un meteorolog nu stie asa de bine despre tulburarile pamintului si ale vazduhului, schimbarea vremii, ca ariciul de mare, caci pe el nici filozofii, nici astronomii si nici meteorologii nu l-au invatat aceasta, ci Domnul marii si al vinturilor. In aceasta vietate mica, a pus urma intelepciunii Sale celei mari si negraite.

Acestea aratindu-le dumnezeiescul ierarh Vasile cel Mare, zice; „Nimic nu este lipsit de purtarea de grija a lui Dumnezeu, nimic nu este trecut cu vederea de El. Toate le priveste cu luare aminte ochiul cel neadormit al Lui. Linga toti este de fata cu mare indestulare, daruind fiecaruia mintuirea. Daca n-a lasat Dumnezeu pe ariciul de mare afara de cercetarea Sa, pe ale tale nu le va cerceta? (Ibidem, p. 164). Inca si ariciul de uscat este mare filosof si meteorolog, fiindca din doua rasuflari isi face vizuina. Cind sufla crivatul de miazanoapte el astupa gaura din partea aceea, din care simte ca vine crivatul. Cind are sa se schimbe vremea si are sa vina austrul, vintul de miazazi, se muta la rasuflatoarea dinspre miazanoapte. Prin aceasta ne arata noua oamenilor tainuit, nu numai ca prin toate trece si strabate purtarea de grija a Aceluia ce ne-a zidit, ci si faptul ca in cele necuvintatoare este orecare simtire a lucrului, ce are sa se faca mai pe urma in vremea viitoare. Stim ca cele necuvintatoare au stiinta de mai inainte de la Dumnezeu, referitoare la schimbarea ce are sa fie in aer, pricepere care ma covirseste” (Ibidem, p. 173).

Inca vedem purtarea de grija a lui Dumnezeu, nu numai asupra oamenilor ci si a altor vietuitoare de pe pamint. Caci ursul cind este greu ranit de alte fiare, are stiinta sa se vindece singur cu floarea ce se cheama luminarica. Iar vulpea cind este ranita are pricepere si stie sa se vindece cu lacrima de rasina a molidului. Si la furnica pronia lui Dumnezeu se vede in chip luminat caci i-a dat ei pricepere Preainduratul Dumnezeu ca vara sa-si gateasca si sa-si adune hrana peste iarna, mai inainte de a veni peste ea asprimea iernii. Ca fara lenevire isi cheltuieste vremea si cu mare sirguinta se intinde la lucru, pina ce hrana cea indestulata pentru iarna ajunge in camari si asezata cu multa sirguinta si pricepere rara acolo, ca multa vreme sa nu se strice. Ca taie si spinteca cu ale ei unghii partea cea din mijloc a roadelor ca nu incoltind, netrebnice sa-i fie spre hrana. Dupa ce le-a scos partea incoltitoare, le usuca daca simte ca se umezesc si nu le scoate afara pe acestea in fiecare vreme, ci numai cind vremea este buna si seceta, ca sa nu le umezeasca. Intr-adevar, nu vei putea sa vezi nor sau ploaie curgind cind furnicile scot afara griul sa-l usuce.

Acest cuvint va ajunge spre a spune minunile Prea Vesnicului Ziditor, care se vad in zidirile Sale si purtarea Lui de grija spre toate cele mici si cele mari din zidirea Sa. Acestea intelegindu-le sa zicem si noi cu proorocul: Cit s-au marit lucrurile Tale, Doamne. Toate intru intelepciune le-ai facut (Psalm 103, 25) (Ibidem, p. 173-174). Deci sa intelegem ca pronia lui Dumnezeu este ingrijirea neintrerupta a Lui fata de toate fapturile Sale. Si precum aerul inveleste lucrurile din el si apa acopere lucrurile care sint in ea, asa pronia cea prea buna si sfinta a Induratului si Atotputernicului Dumnezeu pe toate le cuprinde si le ingrijeste, ca un adevarat parinte si purtator de grija a toate (II Regi 16, 9; Psalm 32, 13-15; 113, 10). De aceea, aratind dumnezeiasca Scriptura purtarea de grija cea vesnica a lui Dumnezeu asupra lumii, zice: „In toate zilele pamintului semanatul si secerisul, frigul si caldura, vara si iarna, ziua si noaptea, nu vor mai inceta” (Facere 8, 21).

Despre puterea si purtarea de grija a lui Dumnezeu fata de toate lucrurile Sale vedem si din cele vorbite de El catre Iov: Incinge ca un barbat mijlocul tau si Eu te voi intreba, iar tu sa-Mi raspunzi. Unde ai fost cind am intemeiat pamintul? Spune-mi de ai cunostinta? Cine a pus masurile lui de stii, sau cine este cel ce a pus funie de masurat peste dinsul? Pe ce s-au intarit stilpii lui si cine este acela ce a pus peste dinsul piatra cea din marginea unghiului? Cind s-au facut stelele, laudatu-M-au cu glas mare toti ingerii Mei. Am ocolit marea cu ingradituri cind se revarsa afara si cind iesea din pintecele maicii ei si am pus imbracamintea ei nor si am infasurat-o pe ea cu negura si am pus ei hotar inconjurind-o cu incuietori si porti si i-am zis: Pina aici sa vii si sa nu treci mai departe, ci intru tine sa se sfarime trufia valurilor tale. Oare in zilele tale am tocmit lumina cea de dimineata si luceafarul si-a vazut rindul sau? Apucatu-te-ai de aripile pamintului ca sa scuturi pe cei necredinciosi de pe dinsul. Oare tu ai luat din pamint lut si l-ai facut vietuitor si l-ai pus pe el, ca sa poata cuvinta pe pamint? Oare tu ai luat de la cei necredinciosi lumina si bratul mindrilor tu l-ai sfarimat? Oare venit-ai la izvoarele marilor si umbrele adincului le-ai umblat?

Deschisu-ti-au tie de frica portile mortii si portarii iadului vazindu-te pe tine s-au inspaimintat? Ai aflat si latimea cea de sub cer? Spune-mi dar cum este si cit este? In ce pamint locuieste lumina si intunericul ce loc are? De ma voi duce la hotarele lor, stii cararile lor? Stii cind aveai sa te nasti si cit de mult este numarul anilor tai? Ai venit la visteriile zapezii si visteriile grindinei le-ai vazut? Oare tu porti grija de ceasul vrajmasului sau de ziua razboiului si a bataii? De unde iese bruma si de unde se risipeste austrul sub cer si cine a gatit ploi iuti, curgeri de ape si calea fulgerului si a tunetului, ca sa ploaie pe pamint unde nu este barbat si in pustie unde nu este om (Iov 38, 3-26).

Am insemnat aici putine din cartea dumnezeiescului Iov caruia Preainduratul si Atotputernicul Dumnezeu a binevoit a-i arata multe despre minunile cele preamari si despre purtarea Sa de grija fata de toate zidirile Sale.

Din toate acestea intelegem ca intreaga creatie, cerul si pamintul, ingerii si oamenii se afla in purtarea de grija a lui Dumnezeu, Cel ce ne-a zidit si are mila de toata faptura.

Iubiti credinciosi,

Concluzia Evangheliei de astazi este cuprinsa intr-o singura fraza: Cautati mai intii Imparatia lui Dumnezeu si dreptatea Lui si toate acestea se vor adauga voua (Matei 6, 33). Zadarnic ne ostenim zi si noapte pentru cele trecatoare. In zadar alergam fara rost dupa lucruri nefolositoare care pier odata cu noi. Ba uneori nici somn nu avem, nici sfintele sarbatori nu le mai tinem, nici la biserica nu gasim timp sa mergem, nici acasa nu ne rugam, nici carti sfinte nu citim, nici pe cei bolnavi nu-i cercetam, nici de moartea cea grabnica si de judecata lui Dumnezeu nu ne mai aducem aminte. Toti dorim cit mai multe. Toti visam averi, cinste, sanatate si viata fericita. Dar de faptele crestinesti, de rugaciune, de iertare, de pocainta si de Dumnezeu aproape toti uitam.

De aceea este in lume atita suferinta si sint atitea boli si certuri in familie, pentru ca am uitat de Dumnezeu. Am uitat de poruncile Lui, de dragostea Lui, de Biserica Lui, de mintuitoarele invataturi ale Sfintei Evanghelii, punind nadejdea numai in miinile, in mintea si in mindria noastra. Poate de aceea multi crestini nu au adevarata pace si multumire sufleteasca.

Sa ne intoarcem din nou la Dumnezeu, la rugaciune, la lucrarea faptelor bune. Dumnezeu ne asteapta. Sa nu ne mai mindrim cu mintea noastra, sa nu ne punem nadejdea in miinile noastre, nici in viata aceasta trecatoare. Ci numai in Dumnezeu sa credem, in El sa nadajduim, Lui numai sa I ne inchinam, la Biserica lui Hristos sa mergem cit mai des si prin pocainta si viata crestineasca sa lucram ogorul mintuirii noastre.

In toate cele bune sa fim intii. Si la lucrul miinilor si la biserica si la milostenie si la post si la rugaciune. Cu miinile sa lucram, dar cu mintea sa ne rugam. Cu picioarele sa calatorim pe calea vietii, dar cu limba sa laudam pe Dumnezeu si sa dam sfaturi duhovnicesti. Sa crestem copiii in frica de Dumnezeu, sa traim in pace cu iubitorii de pace, iar de cei rai, razvratitori, eretici si robiti de patimi sa ne ferim, ca sa nu cadem in cursele lor. Sa nu ne biruim nici de mindria hainelor, nici de laudele sau ocara oamenilor, nici de betie sau cumplita desfrinare sau de multimea grijilor pamintesti care stapinesc astazi toata lumea.

De vom face asa, vom duce aici viata linistita, vom avea timp mai mult de rugaciune, si vom fi fericiti si pe pamint si in cer. Atunci vom putea cinta impreuna cu proorocul David: Bogatii au saracit si au flaminzit, iar cei ce-L cauta pe Domnul nu se vor lipsi de tot binele (Psalm 33, 10). Amin.

Parintele CLEOPA

26
Iun
09

Michael Jackson

Michael_Jackson_1984Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, entertainer and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he made his début to the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1969, and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the „King of Pop”[2] in subsequent years, his 1982 album Thriller is the world’s best-selling record of all time[3] and four other solo studio albums are also among the world’s best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).

In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as „Beat It”, „Billie Jean” and Thriller — widely credited with transforming the music video from a promotional tool into an art form — helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as „Black or White” and „Scream” made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists. While Jackson was a member of Generation Jones [4][5], he had an impact on multiple generations.

Jackson donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundation, charity singles and support of 39 charities. Other aspects of his personal life, including his changing appearance and behavior, generated significant controversy, damaging his public image. Though he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993, the criminal investigation was closed due to lack of evidence and Jackson was not charged. The singer had experienced health concerns since the early 1990s and conflicting reports regarding the state of his finances since the late 1990s. Jackson married twice and fathered three children, all of which caused further controversy. In 2005, Jackson was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records — including one for „Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career — more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era and the sale of 750 million records worldwide.[6] Jackson’s highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.

Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, aged 50.[7] The specific cause of death is yet to be determined.[2] Before his death, Jackson had announced a 50 date sell-out This Is It comeback tour, in London, England.[8].

Contents [hide]
1 Life, music career and death
1.1 1958–1975: Early life and The Jackson 5
1.2 1975–1981: Move to Epic and Off the Wall
1.3 1982–1985: Thriller, Motown 25, We Are the World and business career
1.4 1986–1990: Tabloids, appearance, Bad, autobiography and films
1.5 1991–1993: Dangerous and Super Bowl XXVII
1.6 1993–1994: Sexual abuse accusations and marriage
1.7 1995–1999: HIStory, second marriage and fatherhood
1.8 2000–2002: Label dispute, Invincible and third child
1.9 2003–2007: Documentary, trial and business ventures
1.10 2008–2009: Milestones, real estate, planned return to live performance
1.11 2009: Death
2 Musical style and performance
2.1 Themes and genres
2.2 Vocal style
2.3 Music videos and choreography
3 Legacy and influence
4 Discography
5 See also
6 Notes
7 References
8 Further reading
9 External links

Life, music career and death

1958–1975: Early life and The Jackson 5
See also: The Jackson 5

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana (an industrial suburb of Chicago, Illinois) to a working-class family on August 29, 1958.[9] The son of Joseph Walter „Joe” Jackson and Katherine Esther (née Scruse),[9] he was the seventh of nine children. His siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet.[9] Joseph Jackson was a steel mill employee who often performed in an R&B band called The Falcons with his brother Luther.[9] Jackson was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness by his devout mother.[9]

From a young age Jackson was physically and emotionally abused by his father, enduring incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling. Jackson’s abuse as a child affected him throughout his grown life.[10] In one altercation — later recalled by Marlon Jackson — Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and „pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks”.[11] Joseph would often trip up, or push the male children into walls.[11] One night while Jackson was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window. Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting. Joseph said he wanted to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterwards, Jackson suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom.[11]

Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey. He said that during his childhood he often cried from loneliness and would sometimes get sick or start to vomit upon seeing his father.[12][13][14][15] In Jackson’s other high profile interview, Living with Michael Jackson (2003), the singer covered his face with his hand and began crying when talking about his childhood abuse.[11] Jackson recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed and that „if you didn’t do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you.”[16]

Jackson showed musical talent early in his life, performing in front of classmates and others during a Christmas recital at the age of five.[9] In 1964, Jackson and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers — a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine — as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine, respectively. Jackson later began performing backup vocals and dancing; at the age of eight, he and Jermaine assumed lead vocals, and the group’s name was changed to The Jackson 5.[9] The band toured the Midwest extensively from 1966 to 1968. The band frequently performed at a string of black clubs and venues collectively known as the „chitlin’ circuit”, where they often opened for stripteases and other adult acts. In 1966, they won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and James Brown’s „I Got You (I Feel Good)”, led by Michael.[17]

The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including „Big Boy”, for the local record label Steeltown in 1967 and signed with Motown Records in 1968.[9] Rolling Stone magazine later described the young Michael as „a prodigy” with „overwhelming musical gifts”, noting that Michael „quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer” after he began to dance and sing with his brothers.[18] Though Michael sang with a „child’s piping voice, he danced like a grown-up hoofer and sang with the R&B/gospel inflections of Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder”.[18] The group set a chart record when its first four singles („I Want You Back”, „ABC”, „The Love You Save” and „I’ll Be There”) peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[9] During The Jackson 5’s early years, Motown’s public relations team claimed that Jackson was nine years old — two years younger than he actually was — to make him appear cuter and more accessible to the mainstream audience.[19] Starting in 1972, Jackson released a total of four solo studio albums with Motown, among them Got to Be There and Ben. These were released as part of the Jackson 5 franchise, and produced successful singles such as „Got to Be There”, „Ben” and a remake of Bobby Day’s „Rockin’ Robin”. The group’s sales began declining in 1973, and the band members chafed under Motown’s strict refusal to allow them creative control or input.[20] Although the group scored several top 40 hits, including the top 5 disco single „Dancing Machine” and the top 20 hit „I Am Love”, the Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975.[20]

1975–1981: Move to Epic and Off the Wall

The Jackson 5 signed a new contract with CBS Records in June 1975, joining the Philadelphia International Records division, later Epic Records.[20] As a result of legal proceedings, the group was renamed The Jacksons.[21] After the name change, the band continued to tour internationally, releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984. From 1976 to 1984, Michael Jackson was the lead songwriter of the group, writing hits such as „Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)”, „This Place Hotel” and „Can You Feel It”.[17]

In 1978, Jackson starred as Scarecrow in the film musical The Wiz.[22] The musical scores were arranged by Quincy Jones, who formed a partnership with Jackson during the film’s production and agreed to produce the singer’s next solo album, Off the Wall.[23] In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a complex dance routine. His subsequent rhinoplasty surgery was not a complete success; he complained of breathing difficulties that would affect his career. He was referred to Dr. Steven Hoefflin, who performed Jackson’s second rhinoplasty and other subsequent operations.[24]

Jones and Jackson jointly produced Off the Wall. Songwriters included Jackson, Heatwave’s Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. Released in 1979, it was the first album to generate four US top 10 hits, including the chart-topping singles „Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and „Rock with You”.[25] Off the Wall reached number three on the Billboard 200 and has since been certified for 7 million shipments in the US and eventually sold over 20 million copies worldwide.[26][27] In 1980, Jackson won three awards at the American Music Awards for his solo efforts: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Single for „Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.[25] That year, he also won Billboard Music Awards for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance (for „Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”).[25] Despite its commercial success, Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a much bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release.[28] In 1980, Jackson secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37% of wholesale album profit.[29]

1982–1985: Thriller, Motown 25, We Are the World and business career

After Jackson’s early 1982 contribution, „Someone In the Dark”, to the blockbuster film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which nabbed him a Grammy for Best Album for Children,[30] Epic issued his second album, Thriller. In what would turn out to be the apex of Jackson’s career, the album remained in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks, 37 at the peak. Seven singles from Thriller concurrently hit the Billboard Hot 100 top 10, including „Billie Jean”, „Beat It” and „Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”.[31] Thriller went on to sell upwards of 109 million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time,[32][33][3] [34] causing Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli to muse that „at some point, Thriller stopped selling like a leisure item — like a magazine, a toy, tickets to a hit movie — and started selling like a household staple.”[35]

The period of Thriller was an extraordinarily lucrative one for Jackson, whose lawyer John Branca had negotiated what he boasted then as the highest royalty rate ever in the music industry, approximately $2 per album. Meanwhile, Jackson raked in profits from The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, a documentary by Jackson and John Landis which quickly sold over 350,000 copies. In addition, Jackson began profiting from his image in earnest, as Michael Jackson dolls and other novelties hit the market.[36]

Beyond its record-breaking success among fans, Thriller instituted multiple changes within the music industry. One, it raised the importance of albums, while challenging notions about how many prospective hits an album should contain.[37] Two, it restored to the industry a sense of confidence in its ability to release high-level artistry during a time when profits had been sinking due to what one industry analyst called „the ruins of punk and the chic regions of synthesizer pop”.[36] Three, it helped bring MTV into its heyday, even as MTV helped fuel Thriller’s success. Four, Thriller paved the way for other well-profitable acts such as Prince.[38] In the end, in many ways, Jackson had become a one-man rescue team for the music business.[39] At its 25th anniversary, Thriller retained important influence over the music industry, artists, and American culture.[35]

On March 25, 1983, Jackson performed live on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special, both with The Jackson 5 and on his own singing „Billie Jean”. Debuting his signature dance move — the moonwalk — his performances during the event were seen by 47 million viewers during its initial airing, and drew comparisons to Elvis Presley’s and the The Beatles’ appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.[40] The New York Times said, „The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing”.[41]

Jackson suffered a setback on January 27, 1984. While filming a Pepsi Cola commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Jackson suffered second degree burns to his scalp after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire. Happening in front of a full house of fans during a simulated concert, the incident was the subject of heavy media scrutiny and elicited an outpouring of sympathy.[42] PepsiCo settled a lawsuit out of court, and Jackson gave his $1.5 million settlement to the „Michael Jackson Burn Center” which was a piece of new technology to help people with severe burns.[42] Jackson had his third rhinoplasty shortly afterwards and grew self conscious about his appearance.[24]

On May 14, 1984, Jackson was invited to the White House to receive an award presented by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The award was given for Jackson’s support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse.[43] Jackson won eight awards during the 1984 Grammys. Unlike later albums, Thriller did not have an official tour to promote it, but the 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by The Jacksons, showcased much of Jackson’s new solo material to more than two million Americans.[44] He donated his $5 million share from the Victory Tour to charity.[45]

Jackson co-wrote the charity single „We Are the World” with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US. He was one of 39 music celebrities who performed on the record. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief.[46]

While working with Paul McCartney on the two hit singles „The Girl Is Mine” and „Say Say Say”, the pair became friendly, occasionally visiting one another. In one discussion, McCartney told Jackson about the millions of dollars he had made from music catalogs; he was earning approximately $40 million a year from other people’s songs. Jackson then began a business career buying, selling and distributing publishing rights to music from numerous artists. Shortly afterwards, ATV Songs — a music catalogue holding thousands of songs, including most of the songs written by Lennon-McCartney between 1963-1973 — was put up for sale.[47][48]

Jackson took immediate interest in the catalogue but was warned that he would face strong competition. Excited, he skipped around saying, „I don’t care. I want those songs. Get me those songs Branca [his attorney]”. Branca then contacted the attorney of McCartney, who clarified that his client was not interested in bidding; „It’s too pricey”. After Jackson had started negotiations, McCartney changed his mind and tried to persuade Yoko Ono to join him in a joint bid, she declined, so he pulled out. Jackson eventually beat the rest of the competition in negotiations that lasted 10 months, purchasing the catalog for $47.5 million. When McCartney found out he said, „I think it’s dodgy to do things like that. To be someone’s friend and then buy the rug they’re standing on”. [47][49]

1986–1990: Tabloids, appearance, Bad, autobiography and films
See also: Michael Jackson’s health and appearance

In 1986, the tabloid press ran a story claiming that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow the aging process; he was pictured lying down in a glass box. Although the claim was untrue, Jackson disseminated the fabricated story himself. The singer was promoting his upcoming movie Captain EO and wanted to promote a science fiction image of himself.[50][51] Jackson had a fourth rhinoplasty and, wanting masculine features, had a cleft put in his chin.[24] Then he starred in the Francis Ford Coppola-directed 3-D film Captain EO. It was the most expensive film produced on a per-minute basis at the time, and was later hosted in Disney theme parks. Disneyland featured the film in its Tomorrowland area for nearly 11 years, while Walt Disney World screened the film in its Epcot theme park from 1986 to 1994.[52]

Jackson bought and befriended a pet chimpanzee called Bubbles, an act which extended his eccentric persona. In 2003, the singer claimed that Bubbles shared his toilet and cleaned his bedroom.[51] Later it was reported that Jackson bought the bones of The Elephant Man. Although untrue, it was a story that Jackson again disseminated to the tabloid press.[50][51] These stories inspired the pejorative nickname „Wacko Jacko”, which Jackson acquired the following year. He would eventually come to despise the nickname. Realizing his mistake, he stopped leaking untruths to the press. However due to the profit being made, the media began making up their own stories.[51][53]

Jackson’s skin was a medium-brown color for the entire duration of his youth, but starting in the early 1980s, his skin gradually grew paler. This change gained widespread media coverage, including rumors that Jackson was bleaching his skin.[12] In the mid-1980s, Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus; the latter was in remission in Jackson’s case, and both illnesses made him sensitive to sunlight. The treatments he used for his condition further lightened his skin tone, and, with the application of pancake makeup to even out blotches, he could appear very pale.[54] The structure of his face changed as well; several surgeons have speculated that Jackson had undergone multiple nasal surgeries, a forehead lift, thinned lips and a cheekbone surgery.[55] Changes to his face were, in part, due to periods of significant weight loss.[21] Jackson lost weight in the early 1980s because of a change in diet and a desire for „a dancer’s body”.[56] Witnesses reported that Jackson was often dizzy and speculated that he was suffering from anorexia nervosa; periods of weight loss would become a recurring problem for the singer later in life.[57] Some medical professionals have publicly stated their belief that the singer had body dysmorphic disorder, a psychological condition whereby the sufferer has no concept of how they are perceived by others.[54]

„Why not just tell people I’m an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They’ll believe anything you say, because you’re a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, ‘I’m an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight,’ people would say, ‘Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He’s cracked up. You can’t believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth.'”[58]
—Michael Jackson

With the industry expecting another major hit, Jackson’s first album in five years, Bad (1987), was highly anticipated.[59] Bad had lower sales than Thriller, but was still a substantial commercial success. In the US, it spawned seven hit singles, five of which („I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, „Bad”, „The Way You Make Me Feel”, „Man in the Mirror” and „Dirty Diana”) reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, more than any other album.[60] As of 2008, the album sold 30 million copies worldwide, including eight million shipments in the US.[27][61]

The Bad World Tour began on September 12, 1987, and finished on January 14, 1989.[62] In Japan alone, the tour had 14 sellouts and drew 570,000 people, nearly tripling the previous record of 200,000 in a single tour.[63] Jackson broke a Guinness World Record when 504,000 people attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium. He performed a total of 123 concerts to a total audience of 4.4 million people, and gained a further Guinness World Record when the tour grossed him $125 million. During the trip he invited underprivileged children to watch for free and gave donations to hospitals, orphanages and other charities.[62]

In 1988, Jackson released his first autobiography, Moon Walk, which took four years to complete. Jackson told of his childhood, his experience in The Jackson 5 and the abuse he suffered as a child.[64] He also spoke of his plastic surgery, saying he had two rhinoplastic surgeries and the surgical creation of a cleft in his chin.[56] In the book, he attributed the change in the structure of his face to puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hair style and stage lighting.[56] Moonwalk reached the top position on The New York Times best sellers’ list.[65] The musician then released a film called Moonwalker, which featured live footage, music videos, and a feature film that starred Jackson and Joe Pesci. Moonwalker debuted atop the Billboard Top Music Video Cassette chart, staying there for 22 weeks. It was eventually knocked off the top spot by Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues.[66]

In March 1988, Jackson purchased land near Santa Ynez, California to build Neverland Ranch at a cost of $17 million. The 2,700-acre (11 km2) property had Ferris wheels, a menagerie, and a movie theater. A security staff of 40 patrolled the grounds. In 2003, the property was valued at approximately $100 million.[18][67] In 1989, his annual earnings from album sales, endorsements, and concerts was estimated at $125 million for that year alone.[68] Shortly afterwards, Jackson became the first Westerner to appear in a television ad for Russia.[66]

Jackson’s success resulted in his being dubbed the „King of Pop”, a nickname conceived by actress and friend Elizabeth Taylor when she presented Jackson with an „Artist of the Decade” award in 1989, proclaiming him „the true king of pop, rock and soul”.[69][70] President George H. W. Bush presented the singer with The White House’s special „Artist of the Decade” award in recognition of Jackson’s musical influence in the 1980s; Bush commended Jackson for acquiring a „tremendous following” among other achievements.[71] From 1985 to 1990, Jackson donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and all of the profits from his single „Man in the Mirror” went to charity.[72][73]

Jackson’s live rendition of „You Were There” at Sammy Davis Jr.’s 60th birthday celebration received an Emmy nomination.[66]

1991–1993: Dangerous and Super Bowl XXVII

In March 1991, Jackson renewed his contract with Sony for $65 million; a record breaking deal at the time, displacing Neil Diamond’s renewal contract with Columbia Records.[67] Jackson released his eighth album Dangerous in 1991. As of 2008, Dangerous has shipped 7 million copies in the US and has sold 32 million copies worldwide; it is the most successful New Jack Swing album of all time.[27][74][75] In the US, the album’s first single „Black or White” was the album’s biggest hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and remaining there for seven weeks, with similar chart performances worldwide.[76] The album’s second single „Remember the Time” spent eight weeks in the top five in the US, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[77] In 1993, Jackson performed the song at the Soul Train Awards in a wheelchair, saying he had suffered an injury in rehearsals.[78] In the UK and other parts of Europe, „Heal the World” was the biggest hit from the album; it sold 450,000 copies in the UK and spent five weeks at number two in 1992.[77]

Jackson founded the „Heal the World Foundation” in 1992. The charity organization brought underprivileged children to Jackson’s ranch, to go on theme park rides that Jackson had built on the property after he purchased it. The foundation also sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war and disease. The Dangerous World Tour began on June 27, 1992, and finished on November 11, 1993. Jackson performed to 3.5 million people in 67 concerts. All profits from the concerts went to the „Heal the World Foundation”, raising millions of dollars in relief.[77][79] He sold the broadcast rights to his Dangerous world tour to HBO for $20 million, a record-breaking deal that still stands.[80] Following the illness and death of Ryan White, Jackson helped draw public attention to HIV/AIDS, something that was still controversial at the time. He publicly pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research.[81][82]

In a high-profile visit to Africa, Jackson visited several countries, among them Gabon and Egypt.[83] His first stop to Gabon was greeted with a sizable reception of more than 100,000 people in „spiritual bedlam”, some of them carrying signs that read, „Welcome Home Michael”.[83] In his trip to the Ivory Coast, Jackson was crowned „King Sani” by a tribal chief.[83] He then thanked the dignitaries in French and English, signed official documents formalizing his kingship and sat on a golden throne while presiding over ceremonial dances.[83]

One of Jackson’s most acclaimed performances came during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII. As the performances began, Jackson was catapulted onto the stage as fireworks went off behind him. As he landed on the canvass, he maintained a motionless „clenched fist, standing statue stance”, dressed in a gold and black military outfit and sunglasses; he remained completely motionless for several minutes while the crowd cheered. He then slowly removed his sunglasses, threw them away and began to sing and dance. His routine included four songs: „Jam”, „Billie Jean”, „Black or White” and „Heal the World”. It was the first Super Bowl where the audience figures increased during the half-time show, and was viewed by 135 million Americans alone; Jackson’s Dangerous album rose 90 places up the album chart.[12]

Jackson was given the „Living Legend Award” at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. „Black or White” was Grammy nominated for best vocal performance. „Jam” gained two nominations: Best R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.[77]

1993–1994: Sexual abuse accusations and marriage
Main article: 1993 child sexual abuse accusations against Michael Jackson

Jackson gave a 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey in February 1993, his first television interview since 1979. He grimaced when speaking of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father; he believed he had missed out on much of his childhood years, admitting that he often cried from loneliness. He denied previous tabloid rumors that he bought the bones of the Elephant Man or slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The entertainer went on to dispel suggestions that he bleached his skin, admitting for the first time that he had vitiligo. The interview was watched by 90 million Americans, becoming the fourth most-viewed non-sport program in US history. It also started a public debate on the topic of vitiligo, a relatively unknown condition before then. Dangerous re-entered the album chart top 10, more than a year after its original release.[12][13][77]

Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13-year-old child named Jordan Chandler and his father Evan Chandler.[84] The friendship between Jackson and Evan Chandler broke down. Sometime afterwards, Evan Chandler was tape-recorded saying amongst other things, „If I go through with this, I win big-time. There’s no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever…Michael’s career will be over”.[85] A year after they had met, under the influence of a controversial sedative, Jordan Chandler told his father that Jackson had touched his penis.[86] Evan Chandler and Jackson, represented by their legal teams, then engaged in unsuccessful negotiations to resolve the issue in a financial settlement; the negotiations were initiated by Chandler but Jackson did make several counter offers. Jordan Chandler then told a psychiatrist and later police that he and Jackson had engaged in acts of kissing, masturbation and oral sex, as well as giving a detailed description of what he alleged were the singer’s genitals.[87]

An official investigation began, with Jordan Chandler’s mother adamant that there was no wrongdoing on Jackson’s part. Neverland Ranch was searched; multiple children and family members denied that he was a pedophile.[87] Jackson’s image took a further turn for the worse when his older sister La Toya Jackson accused him of being a pedophile, a statement she later retracted.[88] Jackson agreed to a 25-minute strip search, conducted at his ranch. The search was required to see if a description provided by Jordan Chandler was accurate. Doctors concluded that there were some strong similarities, but it was not a definitive match.[88] Jackson made an emotional public statement on the events; he proclaimed his innocence, criticized what he perceived as biased media coverage and told of his strip search.[84]

Jackson began taking painkillers, Valium, Xanax and Ativan to deal with the stress of the allegations made against him. By the fall of 1993, Jackson was addicted to the drugs.[89] His health deteriorated to the extent that he canceled the remainder of the Dangerous World Tour and went into drug rehabilitation for a few months.[90] The stress of the allegations also caused Jackson to stop eating, losing a significant amount of weight.[91] With his health in decline, Jackson’s friends and legal advisers took over his defense and finances; they called on him to settle the allegations out of court, believing that he could not endure a lengthy trial.[90][91]

Tabloid reaction to the allegations put Jackson in an unfavorable light.[92] Complaints about the coverage and media included everything from bias against Jackson, accepting stories of alleged criminal activity for money to accepting confidential leaked material from the police investigation in return for money paid.[93] On January 1, 1994, Jackson settled with the Chandler family and their legal team out of court, in a civil lawsuit for $22 million. After the settlement Jordan Chandler refused to continue with Police criminal proceedings. Jackson was never charged, and the state closed its criminal investigation, citing lack of evidence.[94]

In May of 1994, Jackson married singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley. They had first met in 1975 during one of Jackson’s family engagements at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, and were reconnected through a mutual friend in early 1993.[92] They stayed in contact every day over the telephone. As child molestation accusations became public, Jackson became dependent on Lisa Marie for emotional support; she was concerned about his faltering health and addiction to drugs.[89] Lisa Marie explained, „I believed he didn’t do anything wrong and that he was wrongly accused and yes I started falling for him. I wanted to save him. I felt that I could do it.”[95] In a phone call he made to her, she described him as high, incoherent and delusional.[89] Shortly afterwards, she tried to persuade Jackson to settle the allegations out of court and go into rehabilitation to recover — he subsequently did both.[89] Jackson proposed to Lisa Marie over the telephone towards the fall of 1993, saying, „If I asked you to marry me, would you do it?”.[89] Presley and Jackson married in the Dominican Republic in secrecy; the parties denied they had been married for nearly two months.[96] The marriage was, in her words, „a married couple’s life … that was sexually active”.[97] At the time, the tabloid media speculated that the wedding was a ploy to prop up Jackson’s public image in light of prior sexual abuse allegations.[96] Jackson and Presley divorced less than two years later, remaining friendly.[98]

1995–1999: HIStory, second marriage and fatherhood

In 1995, Jackson merged his Northern Songs catalog with Sony’s publishing division creating Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Jackson retained half-ownership of the company, earned $95 million upfront as well as the rights to even more songs.[48][99] He then released the double album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. The first disc, HIStory Begins, was a 15-track greatest hits album, and was later reissued as Greatest Hits — HIStory Vol. I in 2001, the second disc, HIStory Continues, contained 15 new songs. The album debuted at number one on the charts and has been certified for seven million shipments in the US.[100] It is the best-selling multiple-disc album of all-time, with 20 million copies (40 million units) sold worldwide.[76][101] HIStory received a Grammy nomination for best album.[102]

The first single released from the album was the double A-side „Scream/Childhood”. „Scream” was a duet, sung and performed with Jackson’s youngest sister Janet. The single had the highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at number five, and received a Grammy nomination for „Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals”.[102] „You Are Not Alone” was the second single released from HIStory; it holds the Guinness World Record for the first song ever to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[68] It was seen as a major artistic and commercial success, receiving a Grammy nomination for „Best Pop Vocal Performance”.[102] In late 1995, Jackson was rushed to a hospital after collapsing during rehearsals for a televised performance; the incident was caused by a stress related panic attack.[103] „Earth Song” was the third single released from HIStory, and topped the UK singles chart for six weeks over Christmas 1995; it sold a million copies, making it Jackson’s most successful single in the UK.[102]

In early 1996, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a press release charging Jackson with antisemitism regarding lyrics in the song „They Don’t Care About Us”, the fourth single from HIStory.[104] The song had originally been recorded with lyrics that included the phrase „Jew me, sue me”, and „Kick me, kike me”. The ADL complained and Jackson responded by saying he would re-record the lyrics before the album went into production. However the ADL’s press release charged that Jackson had performed the song live and included the lyrics in question during the live performance.[104] The dispute over the lyrics upset long-time Jackson friend Steven Spielberg, who considered the song anti-semitic [105]

The HIStory World Tour began on September 7, 1996, and finished on October 15, 1997. Jackson performed 82 concerts in 58 cities to over 4.5 million fans. The show, which visited 5 continents and 35 countries, became Jackson’s most successful in terms of audience figures.[62] During the Australian leg of the HIStory World Tour, Jackson married dermatologist nurse Deborah Jeanne Rowe, with whom he fathered a son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (also known as „Prince”), and a daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson.[98][106] The pair first met in the mid-1980s, when Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo. She spent many years treating his illness as well as providing emotional support. They built a strong friendship, then became romantically involved.[107] Originally there were no plans to marry, but following Rowe’s first pregnancy, Jackson’s mother intervened and persuaded them to do so.[108] After the couple divorced in 1999, with Rowe giving full custody rights of the children to Jackson, they remained friends.[109]

In 1997, Jackson released Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, which contained remixes of hit singles from HIStory and five new songs. Worldwide sales stand at 6 million copies as of 2007, making it one of the best selling remix albums ever released. It reached number one in the UK, as did the title track.[110][111] In the US, the album was certified platinum, but only reached number 24.[27][102] Forbes placed his annual income at $35 million in 1996 and $20 million in 1997.[67]

Throughout June 1999, Jackson was involved in a number of charitable events. He joined Luciano Pavarotti for a benefit concert in Modena, Italy. The show was in support of the non-profit organization Warchild, and raised a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo, as well as additional funds for the children of Guatemala.[112] Later that month, Jackson organized a set of „Michael Jackson & Friends” benefit concerts in Germany and Korea. Other artists involved included Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana Chandrakumar, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti. The proceeds went to the „Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund”, the Red Cross and UNESCO.[113]

2000–2002: Label dispute, Invincible and third child

In 2000, Jackson was listed in the book of Guinness World Records for his support of 39 charities, more than any other entertainer or personality.[114] At the time, Jackson was waiting for the licenses to the masters of his albums to revert to him; this allowed him to promote his old material how he liked and prevented Sony from getting a cut of the profit. Jackson expected this to occur early in the new millennium, however, due to the fine print and various clauses in the contract, this revert date is still many years away. Jackson began an investigation, and it emerged that the attorney who represented the singer in the deal was also representing Sony, creating a conflict of interest.[111] Jackson was also concerned about another conflict of interest. For a number of years, Sony had been pushing to buy all of Jackson’s share in their music catalog venture. If Jackson’s career or financial situation were to deteriorate, he would have to sell his catalog. Thus, Sony had something to gain from Jackson’s career failing.[115] Jackson was able to use these conflicts as leverage to exit his contract early.[111] Just before the release of Invincible, Jackson informed the head of Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola, that he was leaving Sony.[111] As a result, all singles releases, video shootings and promotions concerning the Invincible album were canceled. Jackson made allegations in July 2002 that Mottola was a „devil” and a „racist” who did not support his African-American artists, using them merely for his own personal gain.[111] He charged that Mottola had called his colleague Irv Gotti a „fat nigger”.[116] Sony disputed claims that they had failed to promote Invincible with sufficient energy, maintaining that Jackson refused to tour in the US.[117]

Six years after his last studio album and after spending much of the late 1990s out of the public eye, Jackson released Invincible in October 2001 to much anticipation. To help promote the album, a special 30th Anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden occurred in September 2001 to mark the singer’s 30th year as a solo artist. Jackson appeared onstage alongside his brothers for the first time since 1984.[118] The show also featured performances by Mýa, Usher, Whitney Houston, ‘N Sync, and Slash, among other artists.[32] In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The concert was aired on October 21, 2001, and included performances from dozens of major artists, including Jackson, who performed his song „What More Can I Give” as the finale.[115] Invincible was a commercial success, debuting atop the charts in 13 countries and going on to sell approximately 10 million copies worldwide. It received double-platinum certification in the US.[27][76][115] However, the sales for Invincible were notably low compared to his previous releases, due in part to a diminishing pop music industry, the lack of promotion, no supporting world tour and the label dispute.[115] The album spawned three singles, „You Rock My World”, „Cry” and „Butterflies”, the latter did not have a music video.

Jackson’s third child, Prince Michael Jackson II (also known as Blanket) was born in 2002.[119] The mother’s identity was never released by Jackson, but he has said the child was the result of artificial insemination from a surrogate mother and his own sperm cells.[109] In November of that year, Jackson brought his new born son onto the balcony of his hotel room in Berlin, as fans stood below. Holding him in his right arm, with a cloth loosely draped over the baby’s face, Jackson briefly extended the baby over the railing of the balcony, four stories above ground level, causing widespread criticism in the media. Jackson later apologized for the incident, calling it „a terrible mistake”.[120]

2003–2007: Documentary, trial and business ventures

In 2003, Sony put out a compilation of Jackson’s hits on CD and DVD. In the US, the album peaked at number 13 and was certified platinum by the RIAA; in the UK it was certified for shipments of at least 1.2 million units.[27][121] In a Granada Television documentary titled Living with Michael Jackson, the singer was seen holding hands and discussing sleeping arrangements with Gavin Arvizo, who would later accuse him of child sexual abuse.[122] In the same documentary Jackson was observed spending large amounts of money in an apparently frivolous manner, when he spent $6 million in a single store.[67] Shortly after the documentary aired, Jackson was charged with seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in order to commit that felony; all charges regarded the same boy, Gavin Arvizo, who was under 14 at the time of the alleged crime.[122]

Jackson denied the sexual abuse allegations, saying that the sleepovers were in no way sexual in nature. Jackson’s friend Elizabeth Taylor defended him on Larry King Live, saying that she had been there when they „were in the bed, watching television. There was nothing abnormal about it. There was no touchy-feely going on. We laughed like children and we watched a lot of Walt Disney. There was nothing odd about it.”[123] During the investigation, Jackson’s profile was examined by mental health professional Dr. Stan Katz; the doctor spent several hours with the accuser too. The assessment made by Katz was that Jackson had become a regressed 10-year-old and did not fit the profile of a pedophile.[124]

The People v. Jackson trial began in Santa Maria, California, two years after Jackson was originally charged. During this period the singer became dependent on morphine and Demerol, a dependency which he subsequently overcame. He also suffered from stress-related illnesses and severe weight loss, that would alter his appearance. The trial lasted five months, until the end of May 2005, he was acquitted on all counts.[125][126][127] Jackson then relocated to the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain as a guest of Sheikh Abdullah.[128]

Sony BMG released Visionary: The Video Singles to the European market: a series of 20 of his biggest hit singles of the 1980s and 1990s. Each single was issued weekly over a five-month period in DualDisc format (DVD video on one side, CD audio on the other), and the whole group of discs was made available as a boxed set afterwards.[129] The box set was released in the US on November 14, 2006.[130]

Reports of financial problems for Jackson became frequent in 2006 after the closure of the main house on the Neverland Ranch as a cost-cutting measure.[131] One prominent financial issue for him concerned a $270 million loan secured against his music publishing holdings. After delayed repayments on the loan, a refinancing package shifted the loans from Bank of America to debt specialists Fortress Investments. A new package proposed by Sony would have had Jackson borrow an additional $300 million and reduce the interest rate payable on the loan, while giving Sony the future option to buy half of Jackson’s stake in their jointly owned publishing company (leaving Jackson with a 25% stake).[99] Jackson agreed to a Sony-backed refinancing deal, although details were not made public.[132] Despite these loans, according to Forbes, Jackson was still making as much as $75 million a year from his publishing partnership with Sony alone.[133]

One of Jackson’s first documented public appearances since his trial was in November 2006, when he visited the London office of the Guinness World Records. He received eight records, among them „First Entertainer to Earn More Than 100 Million Dollars in a Year” and „Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”.[68] Jackson was awarded the Diamond Award on November 15, 2006, for selling over 100 million albums, at the World Music Awards.[76] Following the death of James Brown, Jackson returned to the US to pay his respects. He, along with more than 8,000 people, paid tribute during Brown’s public funeral on December 30, 2006.[134] In late 2006, Jackson agreed to share joint custody of his first two children with ex-wife Debbie Rowe.[135] Jackson and Sony bought Famous Music LLC from Viacom in 2007. This deal gave him the rights to songs by Eminem, Shakira and Beck, among others.[136]

I’ve been in the entertainment industry since I was six-years-old… As Charles Dickens says, „It’s been the best of times, the worst of times.” But I would not change my career… While some have made deliberate attempts to hurt me, I take it in stride because I have a loving family, a strong faith and wonderful friends and fans who have, and continue, to support me.[137]
—Michael Jackson

2008–2009: Milestones, real estate, planned return to live performance

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Thriller, Jackson issued Thriller 25, comprising original material from the album, re-mixes, the previously unreleased song „For All Time” and a DVD. Two singles were released to moderate success: „The Girl Is Mine 2008” and „Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ 2008”. Thriller 25 was a commercial success, having done particularly well as a re-issue, peaking at number one in eight countries and Europe. It reached number two in the US, number three in the UK and top 10 on over 30 national charts.[138][139][140] It was ineligible for the Billboard 200 chart as a re-release, but entered atop the Pop Catalog chart, where it stayed for 11 non-consecutive weeks and had the best sales on that chart since December 1996.[141][142][143] In 12 weeks Thriller 25 sold over three million copies worldwide.[144] As of November 2008, US sales of Thriller 25 stood at 688,000 copies, making it the best-selling catalog album of 2008.[143]

In November 21, 2008, news tabloids published that Jackson converted to Islam while in Los Angeles at the home of Steve Porcaro with British music star, Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam), and changed his name to ‘Mikaeel’, these however have not been confirmed by Jackson himself.[145][146][147][148][149][150][151] Other sources have suggested that he had converted earlier in 2007 when his brother Jermaine said he would convert to Islam.[152][153]

To celebrate Jackson’s 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a compilation album called King of Pop in various countries. These albums included tracks from Jackson’s group and solo career, all voted for by fans. The albums had different tracklists, according to how the fans of each nation voted.[154][155] Although it was not released in the US, King of Pop did reach the top 10 in the vast majority of countries it was issued in. It also charted in other countries, albeit lower, from imported sales.[156][157]

Fortress Investments considered a foreclosure sale of Neverland Ranch to service a loan Jackson owed on the property, but ultimately sold the loan to Colony Capital LLC. In November, Jackson transferred the title of Neverland Ranch to Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC. At the time of his death, Jackson still owned an unknown stake in the property — Sycamore Valley Ranch was a joint venture between Jackson and Colony Capital LLC — the loan Jackson owed was cleared, he acquired $35 million in the venture.[158][159][160]

At the time of his death, Jackson was scheduled to perform 50 sold-out concerts to over one million people, at London’s O2 arena, from July 13, 2009, to March 6, 2010. During a publicity press conference, Jackson made suggestions of possible retirement.[161] Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, had stated that the first 10 dates alone would have earned the singer approximately £50 million.[162

2009: Death Wikinews has related news:

On June 25, 2009, Jackson collapsed at a rented home in Holmby Hills in Los Angeles. Attempts at resuscitating him by his personal physician were unsuccessful.[163] Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics received a 911 call at 12:21 pm (PDT),[164] and arrived nine minutes later at Jackson’s location. He was reportedly not breathing and CPR was performed.[165] Resuscitation efforts continued both en route to the UCLA Medical Center, and for an hour further after arriving at approximately 1:14 pm (20:14 UTC).[163] He was noted to have already been in cardiac arrest by the paramedics who attended his house.[165] Jackson was pronounced dead at about 2:26 pm local time (21:26 UTC).[166] Many news organizations were generally very cautious about the initial reports of his death.[167]

The cause of death has not yet been determined. The case was transferred to the Los Angeles County Coroner for investigation.[163] Jackson’s body was transported by helicopter from UCLA to the LA Coroner’s offices in Boyle Heights.[168][169] The autopsy was scheduled for Friday, June 26, 2009.[166] A final verdict on Michael Jackson’s autopsy will only be possible after the toxicology test results are confirmed, which could take six to eight weeks.[170] It has been reported that police are searching for Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, currently missing, after the star’s family suggested he died because of a drug overdose of Demerol, an opioid similar to morphine.[171]

Jackson’s death caused a large-scale outpouring of grief among fans, as they gathered outside the UCLA Medical Center and his Holmby Hills home.[172] Fans also gathered in New York City outside the Apollo Theater[173] and in Detroit outside Hitsville U.S.A., the old Motown headquarters – now the Motown Museum – where fans created a shrine.[174]

News of Jackson’s death spread quickly online, causing many websites to experience technical difficulties following the unanticipated swell of users. Google announced technical difficulties after a sudden increase in searches for „Michael Jackson” led the company to believe it was under attack from hackers, while social networking site Twitter reported a crash after record numbers of users used the site to spread the news of Jackson’s death.[175] AIM, an instant messaging service operated by America Online, collapsed for forty minutes.[176] The company called it a „seminal moment in Internet history” and added „We’ve never seen anything like it in terms of scope or depth.”[176] Wikipedia also experienced technical difficulties, and crashed at 3:15 PDT, reportedly due to excessive edits and user overload.[167]

In the hours following Jackson’s death, his record sales increased dramatically. His album Thriller climbed to number one on the American iTunes music chart, while another eight have made it into the top 40.[177] In the UK, where Jackson would have performed in less than three weeks, his albums occupied 14 of the top 20 places on the Amazon.co.uk sales chart with Off The Wall topping the chart. As of 1:14 PM Central Time on June 26, 9 of his albums are on the American iTunes Top 10 chart, including Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, and 3 compilations. In the UK iTunes store on June 26, thirty-nine of Jackson’s songs were in the Top 100 best selling songs list, in addition to four Jackson 5 songs. Eight of his albums took over the top ten downloaded albums and the top 5 video downloads were all Michael Jackson videos. Along with this he also entered into the top top ten single downloads with „Man in the Mirror”.[178]

Less than four months before Jackson’s death one of his biographers, Ian Halperin, revealed that Jackson had a secret library of over 100 unreleased songs which he planned to release after his death to support his children. [179]

Notes
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^ a b Ryan, Joal (2009-06-25). „Michael Jackson, Pop’s Thrilling King, Dead at 50”. E! Online. Retrieved on 2009-06-25.
^ a b „Music Icon Quincy Jones Kicks-Off New Series in Tribune Newspapers”. PR Newswire. January 16, 2009. Retrieved on January 24, 2009.
^ http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/lifematters/lost-generation-finds-its-voice-20090621-csc8.html
^ http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/lifestyle/lifematters/generations-most-famous-faces/20090621-cseu.html
^ Eisinger, Amy (2009-03-04). „Britney Spears isn’t the only pop star primed for a comeback: Get ready for Michael Jackson”. Daily News. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
^ Matthew Moore (2009-06-26) Michael Jackson, King of Pop, dies of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles Telegraph. Retrieved on 2009-06-27.
^ „Michael Jackson delays some shows until ’10”. CNN. 2009-05-20. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
^ a b c d e f g h i George, p. 20
^ „Michael Jackson’s Secret Childhood”. VH1. Retrieved on June 20, 2008.
^ a b c d Taraborrelli, pp. 20–22
^ a b c d Campbell (1995), pp. 14–16
^ a b Lewis, pp. 165–168
^ George, pp. 45–46
^ Taraborrelli, p. 620
^ Taraborrelli, p. 602
^ a b „The Jackson Five”. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved on May 29, 2007.
^ a b c d e f g h „Michael Jackson: Biography”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on February 14, 2008.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 17
^ a b c d George, p. 22
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 138–144
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 163–169
^ a b c George, p. 23
^ a b c d Taraborrelli, pp. 205–210
^ a b c George, pp. 37–38
^ „Michael Jackson: Off the Wall — Classic albums — Music — Virgin media”. Virgin Media. Retrieved on December 12, 2008.
^ a b c d e f „Gold and Platinum”. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on April 27, 2008.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 188
^ Taraborrelli, p. 191
^ a b „Grammy Award Winners”. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved on February 14, 2008.
^ Lewis, p. 47
^ a b c d George, pp. 50–53
^ „Michael Jackson Opens Up”. CBS. November 6, 2007. Retrieved on July 24, 2008.
^ Jill Serjeant, „Michael Jackson superstardom tarnished by scandal”, June 25, 2009, Reuters, available online.
^ a b Taraborrelli, p. 226
^ a b c Cocks, Jay (March 19, 1984). „Why He’s a Thriller”. Time. Retrieved on March 17, 2007.
^ „Michael Jackson”. VH1. (2007). Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
^ Harrington, Richard (October 9, 1988). „Prince & Michael Jackson: Two Paths to the Top of Pop”. The Washington Post. Retrieved on May 21, 2007.
^ Pareles, Jon (January 14, 1984). „Michael Jackson at 25: A Musical Phenomenon”. The New York Times. Retrieved on March 30, 2009.
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 238–241
^ Kisselgoff, Anna (March 6, 1988). „Dancing feet of Michael Jackson”. The New York Times. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 279–287
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 304–307
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 315–319
^ Taraborrelli, p. 320
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 340–344
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 333–337
^ a b „Michael Jackson sells Beatles songs to Sony”. The New York Times. November 8, 1995. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ „Bad Fortunes”. The Guardian. June 15, 2005. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 355–361
^ a b c d „Music’s misunderstood superstar”. BBC. (June 13, 2005). Retrieved on July 14, 2008.
^ George, p. 41
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 370–373
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 434–436
^ „Surgeon: Michael Jackson A ‘Nasal Cripple'”. ABC News. (February 8, 2003). Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ a b c Jackson, pp. 229–230
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 312–313
^ Taraborrelli, p. vii
^ a b c Cocks, Jay (September 14, 1987). „The Badder They Come”. Time. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ Leopold, Todd (June 6, 2005). „Michael Jackson: A life in the spotlight”. CNN. Retrieved on May 5, 2008.
^ Savage, Mark (August 29, 2008). „Michael Jackson: Highs and lows”. BBC. Retrieved on November 25, 2008.
^ a b c Lewis, pp. 95–96
^ Harrington, Richard (January 12, 1988). „Jackson to Make First Solo U.S. Tour”. The Washington Post. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ Jackson, pp. 29–31
^ George, p. 42
^ a b c d e George, pp. 43–44
^ a b c d e Gundersen, Edna (February 19, 2007). „For Jackson, scandal could spell financial ruin”. USA Today. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ a b c d e „Jackson receives his World Records”. Yahoo!. (November 14, 2006). Retrieved on November 16, 2006.
^ Jackson, Michael. HIStory booklet. Sony BMG. p 3
^ Keehner, Jonathan; Mider, Zachary R. (May 11, 2008). „Michael Jackson’s Neverland Loan Sold by Fortress to Colony”. Bloomberg L.P.. Retrieved on May 12, 2008.
^ „Remarks on the Upcoming Summit With President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union”. The American Presidency Project. (April 5, 1990). Retrieved on April 8, 2007.
^ „Blacks who give back”. Ebony. (March 1990). Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 382
^ „Michael Jackson sulla sedia a rotelle”. Affari Italiani. August 11, 2008. Retrieved on May 10, 2009.
^ Carter, Kelley L. (August 11, 2008). „New jack swing”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on August 21, 2008.
^ a b c d e f g „The return of the King of Pop”. MSNBC. (November 2, 2006). Retrieved on June 8, 2008.
^ a b c d e f g George, pp. 45–46
^ Taraborrelli, p. 459
^ Harrington, Richard (February 5, 1992). „Jackson to Tour Overseas”. The Washington Post.
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 452–454
^ „Stars line up for Clinton celebration”. Daily News of Los Angeles. (January 19, 1993).
^ Smith, Patricia (January 20, 1992). „Facing the music and the masses at the presidential gala”. The Boston Globe.
^ a b c d Johnson, Robert (May 1992). „Michael Jackson: crowned in Africa”. Ebony. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ a b „1993: Michael Jackson accused of child abuse”. BBC. (February 8, 2003). Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 477–478
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 485–486
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 496–498
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 534–540
^ a b c d e Taraborrelli, pp. 518–520
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 524–528
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 514–516
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 500–507
^ Campbell (1995), pp. 47–50
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 540–545
^ Taraborrelli, p. 510
^ a b „She’s Out Of His Life”. CNN. (January 18, 1996). Retrieved on July 24, 2008.
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 562–564
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 580–581
^ a b Leeds, Jeff (April 13, 2006). „Michael Jackson Bailout Said to Be Close”. The New York Times. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ „Top 100 Albums (Page 2)”. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on April 16, 2008.
^ Putti, Laura (August 24, 2001). „Il nuovo Michael Jackson fa un tuffo nel passato”. La Repubblica. Retrieved on May 10, 2009.
^ a b c d e f g h George, pp. 48–50
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 576–577
^ a b ADL Outraged that Michael Jackson has reinstated anti-semitic lyrics into video version of „They Don’t Care About Us”, http://www.adl.org/presrele/ASUS_12/2662_12.asp
^ „Obituary: Michael Jackson”. BBC News. 2009-6-26.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 597
^ Taraborrelli, p. 570
^ Taraborrelli, p. 586
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 599–600
^ Rojek, Chris (2007). Cultural Studies. Polity. p. 74. ISBN 0745636837.
^ a b c d e f Taraborrelli, pp. 610–612
^ „Ricky Martin, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Others To Join Pavarotti For Benefit”. VH1. (May 5, 1999). Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
^ „Slash, Scorpions, Others Scheduled For „Michael Jackson & Friends””. VH1. (May 27, 1999). Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
^ Lewis, pp. 8–9
^ a b c d e Taraborrelli, pp. 614–617
^ Jackson, Jermaine. Interview with Connie Chung. Interview with Jermaine Jackson. Connie Chung Tonight. (December 31, 2002). Retrieved on July 2, 2008.
^ Burkeman, Oliver (July 8, 2002). „Jacko gets tough: but is he a race crusader or just a falling star?”. The Guardian. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ Branigan, Tania (September 8, 2001). „Jackson spends £20m to be Invincible”. The Guardian. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ „Michael Jackson”. Daily Mirror. Retrieved on May 29, 2009.
^ Vineyard, Jennifer (November 20, 2002). „Michael Jackson Calls Baby-Dangling Incident A ‘Terrible Mistake'”. MTV. Retrieved on March 3, 2009.
^ „BPI Searchable database — Gold and Platinum”. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on January 25, 2009.
^ a b Taraborrelli, p. 640
^ „Elizabeth Taylor defends Michael on Larry King Live”. CNN. (May 30, 2006). Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 648
^ Taraborrelli, p. 661
^ Davis, Matthew (June 6, 2005). „Michael Jackson health concerns”. BBC. Retrieved on April 14, 2008.
^ Associated Press (June 13, 2005). „Michael Jackson jury reaches verdict”. Retrieved on July 12, 2008.
^ Toumi, Habib (January 23, 2006). „Jackson settles down to his new life in the Persian Gulf”. Gulf News. Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ „M J Visionary”. Sony BMG. Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ „Michael Jackson Visionary …The Video Singles”. Sony BMG. Retrieved on November 14, 2006.
^ McNamara, Melissa (March 17, 2006). „Jackson Closes Neverland House”. CBS. Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ „Jackson strikes deal over loans”. BBC. (April 14, 2006). Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ Ackman, Dan (May 14, 2005). „Really Odd Facts About Michael Jackson”. Forbes. Retrieved on August 20, 2008.
^ Reid, Shaheem (December 30, 2006). „James Brown Saluted By Michael Jackson at Public Funeral Service”. MTV. Retrieved on December 31, 2006.
^ „Jackson child custody battle ends”. BBC. (September 30, 2006). Retrieved on April 16, 2008.
^ „Michael Jackson buys rights to Eminem tunes and more”. Rolling Stone. (May 31, 2007). Retrieved on June 23, 2008.
^ Talmadge, Eric (2007). „Michael Jackson ‘wouldn’t change anything'”. USA Today. Retrieved on July 25, 2008.
^ „Zona Musical” (in Spanish). zm.nu. Retrieved on April 5, 2008.
^ „Thriller the best selling album of all time”. digitalproducer. (February 20, 2008). Retrieved on April 6, 2008.
^ „Michael Jackson Thriller 25”. ultratop.be. Retrieved on April 6, 2008.
^ Grein, Paul (May 18, 2008). „Diva Smackdown”. Yahoo!. Retrieved on May 22, 2008.
^ Caulfield, Keith (February 20, 2008). „Big Grammy Gains For Many; King of Pop Returns”. Billboard. Retrieved on February 20, 2008.
^ a b Waddell, Ray (November 7, 2008). „Michael Jackson Eyeing London Run?”. Billboard. Retrieved on November 8, 2008.
^ Friedman, Roger (May 16, 2008). „Jacko: Neverland East in Upstate New York”. Fox News Channel. Retrieved on May 22, 2008.
^ Tibbetts, Graham (November 21, 2008). „Michael Jackson ‘converts to Islam and changes name to Mikaeel'”. Guardian. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson ‘becomes a Muslim and changes name to Mikaeel'”. Daily Mail. November 21, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson has become Muslim changing his name to ‘Mikaeel'”. The Sun. November 21, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson has ‘converted to Islam'”. News.com.au. November 21, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael turns Muslim”. News 24. 2008-11-21. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ LEAH CHERNIKOFF (November 21, 2008). „Call him Mikaeel? Michael Jackson reportedly converts to Islam”. New York Daily News. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson converts to Islam”. Washington Times. November 21, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Brother wants Michael Jackson to be a Muslim”. MSNBC. January 29, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson autopsy ‘permissible’ says top Russian Muslim”. RIA Novosti. January 26, 2009. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Choose The Tracks On Michael Jackson’s 50th Birthday Album!”. Sony BMG. (June 20, 2008). Retrieved on June 20, 2008.
^ „MJ50 – Michael Jackson”. mj50.com. Retrieved on June 20, 2008.
^ „Michael Jackson — King of Pop”. acharts.us. Retrieved on September 11, 2008.
^ „King of Pop”. http://www.ultratop.be. Retrieved on September 5, 2008.
^ „Neverland peters out for pop’s Peter Pan”. The Sydney Morning Herald. (November 13, 2008). Retrieved on November 20, 2008.
^ „Jacko gives up Neverland ranch deed”. Press Association. (November 16, 2008).
^ Adams, Susan (April 14, 2009). „Ten Most Expensive Michael Jackson Collectibles”. Forbes. Retrieved on April 14, 2009.
^ Kreps, Daniel (March 12, 2009). „Michael Jackson’s “This Is It!” Tour Balloons to 50-Show Run Stretching Into 2010”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on March 24, 2009.
^ Foster, Patrick (March 6, 2009). „Michael Jackson grand finale curtain-raiser”. The Times. Retrieved on March 24, 2009.
^ a b c „Fans mourn artist for whom it didn’t matter if you were black or white”. The Times. June 26, 2009. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson, pop music legend, dead at 50”. CNN. June 25, 2009. Retrieved on June 25, 2009.
^ a b „Singer Michael Jackson dead at 50-Legendary pop star had been preparing for London comeback tour”. MSNBC. June 25, 2009. Retrieved on June 25, 2009.
^ a b Tourtellotte, Bob (June 25, 2009). „King of Pop Michael Jackson is dead: official”. Reuters. Retrieved on June 25, 2009.
^ a b McCullagh, Declan (June 25, 2009). „Michael Jackson’s death roils Wikipedia.”. CNET News. Retrieved on June 26,2009.
^ „Jackson’s body flown to autopsy”. BBC News. June 26, 2009. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „King of pop Michael Jackson is dead”. The Guardian. June 26, 2009. Retrieved on June 26, 2009. „TV footage showed a rescue helicopter flying the star’s body to a waiting ambulance.”
^ http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090626-708640.html
^ Michael Jackson Dies Of Heart Attack After Being Rushed To UCLA Hospital In Los Angeles
^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/michael-jackson/5645517/Michael-Jackson-is-dead-fans-mourn-outside-hospital.html
^ http://www.canada.com/entertainment/Mourners+gather+theatre+that+launched+Jackson+career/1733442/story.html
^ http://freep.com/article/20090626/ENT04/906260487
^ Shiels, Maggie (June 26, 2009). „Web slows after Jackson’s death”. BBC News. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ a b nytimes.com, Officials Seek Clues in Jackson’s Death, accessed June 26, 2009.
^ Kahney, Leander (June 25, 2009). „Michael Jackson’s Albums Storm The Charts On iTunes”. Cult of Mac. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson: record sales rocket”. telegraph.co.uk. 2009-06-26. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
^ Michael Jackson: secret library of 100 songs could be released Posted June 26, 2009

Notes
^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock-N-Roll Gold Rush. Algora Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 0875862071.
^ a b Ryan, Joal (2009-06-25). „Michael Jackson, Pop’s Thrilling King, Dead at 50”. E! Online. Retrieved on 2009-06-25.
^ a b „Music Icon Quincy Jones Kicks-Off New Series in Tribune Newspapers”. PR Newswire. January 16, 2009. Retrieved on January 24, 2009.
^ http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/lifematters/lost-generation-finds-its-voice-20090621-csc8.html
^ http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/lifestyle/lifematters/generations-most-famous-faces/20090621-cseu.html
^ Eisinger, Amy (2009-03-04). „Britney Spears isn’t the only pop star primed for a comeback: Get ready for Michael Jackson”. Daily News. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
^ Matthew Moore (2009-06-26) Michael Jackson, King of Pop, dies of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles Telegraph. Retrieved on 2009-06-27.
^ „Michael Jackson delays some shows until ’10”. CNN. 2009-05-20. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
^ a b c d e f g h i George, p. 20
^ „Michael Jackson’s Secret Childhood”. VH1. Retrieved on June 20, 2008.
^ a b c d Taraborrelli, pp. 20–22
^ a b c d Campbell (1995), pp. 14–16
^ a b Lewis, pp. 165–168
^ George, pp. 45–46
^ Taraborrelli, p. 620
^ Taraborrelli, p. 602
^ a b „The Jackson Five”. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved on May 29, 2007.
^ a b c d e f g h „Michael Jackson: Biography”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on February 14, 2008.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 17
^ a b c d George, p. 22
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 138–144
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 163–169
^ a b c George, p. 23
^ a b c d Taraborrelli, pp. 205–210
^ a b c George, pp. 37–38
^ „Michael Jackson: Off the Wall — Classic albums — Music — Virgin media”. Virgin Media. Retrieved on December 12, 2008.
^ a b c d e f „Gold and Platinum”. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on April 27, 2008.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 188
^ Taraborrelli, p. 191
^ a b „Grammy Award Winners”. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved on February 14, 2008.
^ Lewis, p. 47
^ a b c d George, pp. 50–53
^ „Michael Jackson Opens Up”. CBS. November 6, 2007. Retrieved on July 24, 2008.
^ Jill Serjeant, „Michael Jackson superstardom tarnished by scandal”, June 25, 2009, Reuters, available online.
^ a b Taraborrelli, p. 226
^ a b c Cocks, Jay (March 19, 1984). „Why He’s a Thriller”. Time. Retrieved on March 17, 2007.
^ „Michael Jackson”. VH1. (2007). Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
^ Harrington, Richard (October 9, 1988). „Prince & Michael Jackson: Two Paths to the Top of Pop”. The Washington Post. Retrieved on May 21, 2007.
^ Pareles, Jon (January 14, 1984). „Michael Jackson at 25: A Musical Phenomenon”. The New York Times. Retrieved on March 30, 2009.
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 238–241
^ Kisselgoff, Anna (March 6, 1988). „Dancing feet of Michael Jackson”. The New York Times. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 279–287
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 304–307
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 315–319
^ Taraborrelli, p. 320
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 340–344
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 333–337
^ a b „Michael Jackson sells Beatles songs to Sony”. The New York Times. November 8, 1995. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ „Bad Fortunes”. The Guardian. June 15, 2005. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 355–361
^ a b c d „Music’s misunderstood superstar”. BBC. (June 13, 2005). Retrieved on July 14, 2008.
^ George, p. 41
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 370–373
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 434–436
^ „Surgeon: Michael Jackson A ‘Nasal Cripple'”. ABC News. (February 8, 2003). Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ a b c Jackson, pp. 229–230
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 312–313
^ Taraborrelli, p. vii
^ a b c Cocks, Jay (September 14, 1987). „The Badder They Come”. Time. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ Leopold, Todd (June 6, 2005). „Michael Jackson: A life in the spotlight”. CNN. Retrieved on May 5, 2008.
^ Savage, Mark (August 29, 2008). „Michael Jackson: Highs and lows”. BBC. Retrieved on November 25, 2008.
^ a b c Lewis, pp. 95–96
^ Harrington, Richard (January 12, 1988). „Jackson to Make First Solo U.S. Tour”. The Washington Post. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ Jackson, pp. 29–31
^ George, p. 42
^ a b c d e George, pp. 43–44
^ a b c d e Gundersen, Edna (February 19, 2007). „For Jackson, scandal could spell financial ruin”. USA Today. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ a b c d e „Jackson receives his World Records”. Yahoo!. (November 14, 2006). Retrieved on November 16, 2006.
^ Jackson, Michael. HIStory booklet. Sony BMG. p 3
^ Keehner, Jonathan; Mider, Zachary R. (May 11, 2008). „Michael Jackson’s Neverland Loan Sold by Fortress to Colony”. Bloomberg L.P.. Retrieved on May 12, 2008.
^ „Remarks on the Upcoming Summit With President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union”. The American Presidency Project. (April 5, 1990). Retrieved on April 8, 2007.
^ „Blacks who give back”. Ebony. (March 1990). Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 382
^ „Michael Jackson sulla sedia a rotelle”. Affari Italiani. August 11, 2008. Retrieved on May 10, 2009.
^ Carter, Kelley L. (August 11, 2008). „New jack swing”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on August 21, 2008.
^ a b c d e f g „The return of the King of Pop”. MSNBC. (November 2, 2006). Retrieved on June 8, 2008.
^ a b c d e f g George, pp. 45–46
^ Taraborrelli, p. 459
^ Harrington, Richard (February 5, 1992). „Jackson to Tour Overseas”. The Washington Post.
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 452–454
^ „Stars line up for Clinton celebration”. Daily News of Los Angeles. (January 19, 1993).
^ Smith, Patricia (January 20, 1992). „Facing the music and the masses at the presidential gala”. The Boston Globe.
^ a b c d Johnson, Robert (May 1992). „Michael Jackson: crowned in Africa”. Ebony. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ a b „1993: Michael Jackson accused of child abuse”. BBC. (February 8, 2003). Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 477–478
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 485–486
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 496–498
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 534–540
^ a b c d e Taraborrelli, pp. 518–520
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 524–528
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 514–516
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 500–507
^ Campbell (1995), pp. 47–50
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 540–545
^ Taraborrelli, p. 510
^ a b „She’s Out Of His Life”. CNN. (January 18, 1996). Retrieved on July 24, 2008.
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 562–564
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 580–581
^ a b Leeds, Jeff (April 13, 2006). „Michael Jackson Bailout Said to Be Close”. The New York Times. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ „Top 100 Albums (Page 2)”. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on April 16, 2008.
^ Putti, Laura (August 24, 2001). „Il nuovo Michael Jackson fa un tuffo nel passato”. La Repubblica. Retrieved on May 10, 2009.
^ a b c d e f g h George, pp. 48–50
^ Taraborrelli, pp. 576–577
^ a b ADL Outraged that Michael Jackson has reinstated anti-semitic lyrics into video version of „They Don’t Care About Us”, http://www.adl.org/presrele/ASUS_12/2662_12.asp
^ „Obituary: Michael Jackson”. BBC News. 2009-6-26.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 597
^ Taraborrelli, p. 570
^ Taraborrelli, p. 586
^ a b Taraborrelli, pp. 599–600
^ Rojek, Chris (2007). Cultural Studies. Polity. p. 74. ISBN 0745636837.
^ a b c d e f Taraborrelli, pp. 610–612
^ „Ricky Martin, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Others To Join Pavarotti For Benefit”. VH1. (May 5, 1999). Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
^ „Slash, Scorpions, Others Scheduled For „Michael Jackson & Friends””. VH1. (May 27, 1999). Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
^ Lewis, pp. 8–9
^ a b c d e Taraborrelli, pp. 614–617
^ Jackson, Jermaine. Interview with Connie Chung. Interview with Jermaine Jackson. Connie Chung Tonight. (December 31, 2002). Retrieved on July 2, 2008.
^ Burkeman, Oliver (July 8, 2002). „Jacko gets tough: but is he a race crusader or just a falling star?”. The Guardian. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ Branigan, Tania (September 8, 2001). „Jackson spends £20m to be Invincible”. The Guardian. Retrieved on July 23, 2008.
^ „Michael Jackson”. Daily Mirror. Retrieved on May 29, 2009.
^ Vineyard, Jennifer (November 20, 2002). „Michael Jackson Calls Baby-Dangling Incident A ‘Terrible Mistake'”. MTV. Retrieved on March 3, 2009.
^ „BPI Searchable database — Gold and Platinum”. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on January 25, 2009.
^ a b Taraborrelli, p. 640
^ „Elizabeth Taylor defends Michael on Larry King Live”. CNN. (May 30, 2006). Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ Taraborrelli, p. 648
^ Taraborrelli, p. 661
^ Davis, Matthew (June 6, 2005). „Michael Jackson health concerns”. BBC. Retrieved on April 14, 2008.
^ Associated Press (June 13, 2005). „Michael Jackson jury reaches verdict”. Retrieved on July 12, 2008.
^ Toumi, Habib (January 23, 2006). „Jackson settles down to his new life in the Persian Gulf”. Gulf News. Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ „M J Visionary”. Sony BMG. Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ „Michael Jackson Visionary …The Video Singles”. Sony BMG. Retrieved on November 14, 2006.
^ McNamara, Melissa (March 17, 2006). „Jackson Closes Neverland House”. CBS. Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ „Jackson strikes deal over loans”. BBC. (April 14, 2006). Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
^ Ackman, Dan (May 14, 2005). „Really Odd Facts About Michael Jackson”. Forbes. Retrieved on August 20, 2008.
^ Reid, Shaheem (December 30, 2006). „James Brown Saluted By Michael Jackson at Public Funeral Service”. MTV. Retrieved on December 31, 2006.
^ „Jackson child custody battle ends”. BBC. (September 30, 2006). Retrieved on April 16, 2008.
^ „Michael Jackson buys rights to Eminem tunes and more”. Rolling Stone. (May 31, 2007). Retrieved on June 23, 2008.
^ Talmadge, Eric (2007). „Michael Jackson ‘wouldn’t change anything'”. USA Today. Retrieved on July 25, 2008.
^ „Zona Musical” (in Spanish). zm.nu. Retrieved on April 5, 2008.
^ „Thriller the best selling album of all time”. digitalproducer. (February 20, 2008). Retrieved on April 6, 2008.
^ „Michael Jackson Thriller 25”. ultratop.be. Retrieved on April 6, 2008.
^ Grein, Paul (May 18, 2008). „Diva Smackdown”. Yahoo!. Retrieved on May 22, 2008.
^ Caulfield, Keith (February 20, 2008). „Big Grammy Gains For Many; King of Pop Returns”. Billboard. Retrieved on February 20, 2008.
^ a b Waddell, Ray (November 7, 2008). „Michael Jackson Eyeing London Run?”. Billboard. Retrieved on November 8, 2008.
^ Friedman, Roger (May 16, 2008). „Jacko: Neverland East in Upstate New York”. Fox News Channel. Retrieved on May 22, 2008.
^ Tibbetts, Graham (November 21, 2008). „Michael Jackson ‘converts to Islam and changes name to Mikaeel'”. Guardian. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson ‘becomes a Muslim and changes name to Mikaeel'”. Daily Mail. November 21, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson has become Muslim changing his name to ‘Mikaeel'”. The Sun. November 21, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson has ‘converted to Islam'”. News.com.au. November 21, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael turns Muslim”. News 24. 2008-11-21. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ LEAH CHERNIKOFF (November 21, 2008). „Call him Mikaeel? Michael Jackson reportedly converts to Islam”. New York Daily News. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson converts to Islam”. Washington Times. November 21, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Brother wants Michael Jackson to be a Muslim”. MSNBC. January 29, 2008. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson autopsy ‘permissible’ says top Russian Muslim”. RIA Novosti. January 26, 2009. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Choose The Tracks On Michael Jackson’s 50th Birthday Album!”. Sony BMG. (June 20, 2008). Retrieved on June 20, 2008.
^ „MJ50 – Michael Jackson”. mj50.com. Retrieved on June 20, 2008.
^ „Michael Jackson — King of Pop”. acharts.us. Retrieved on September 11, 2008.
^ „King of Pop”. http://www.ultratop.be. Retrieved on September 5, 2008.
^ „Neverland peters out for pop’s Peter Pan”. The Sydney Morning Herald. (November 13, 2008). Retrieved on November 20, 2008.
^ „Jacko gives up Neverland ranch deed”. Press Association. (November 16, 2008).
^ Adams, Susan (April 14, 2009). „Ten Most Expensive Michael Jackson Collectibles”. Forbes. Retrieved on April 14, 2009.
^ Kreps, Daniel (March 12, 2009). „Michael Jackson’s “This Is It!” Tour Balloons to 50-Show Run Stretching Into 2010”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on March 24, 2009.
^ Foster, Patrick (March 6, 2009). „Michael Jackson grand finale curtain-raiser”. The Times. Retrieved on March 24, 2009.
^ a b c „Fans mourn artist for whom it didn’t matter if you were black or white”. The Times. June 26, 2009. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson, pop music legend, dead at 50”. CNN. June 25, 2009. Retrieved on June 25, 2009.
^ a b „Singer Michael Jackson dead at 50-Legendary pop star had been preparing for London comeback tour”. MSNBC. June 25, 2009. Retrieved on June 25, 2009.
^ a b Tourtellotte, Bob (June 25, 2009). „King of Pop Michael Jackson is dead: official”. Reuters. Retrieved on June 25, 2009.
^ a b McCullagh, Declan (June 25, 2009). „Michael Jackson’s death roils Wikipedia.”. CNET News. Retrieved on June 26,2009.
^ „Jackson’s body flown to autopsy”. BBC News. June 26, 2009. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „King of pop Michael Jackson is dead”. The Guardian. June 26, 2009. Retrieved on June 26, 2009. „TV footage showed a rescue helicopter flying the star’s body to a waiting ambulance.”
^ http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090626-708640.html
^ Michael Jackson Dies Of Heart Attack After Being Rushed To UCLA Hospital In Los Angeles
^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/michael-jackson/5645517/Michael-Jackson-is-dead-fans-mourn-outside-hospital.html
^ http://www.canada.com/entertainment/Mourners+gather+theatre+that+launched+Jackson+career/1733442/story.html
^ http://freep.com/article/20090626/ENT04/906260487
^ Shiels, Maggie (June 26, 2009). „Web slows after Jackson’s death”. BBC News. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ a b nytimes.com, Officials Seek Clues in Jackson’s Death, accessed June 26, 2009.
^ Kahney, Leander (June 25, 2009). „Michael Jackson’s Albums Storm The Charts On iTunes”. Cult of Mac. Retrieved on June 26, 2009.
^ „Michael Jackson: record sales rocket”. telegraph.co.uk. 2009-06-26. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
^ Michael Jackson: secret library of 100 songs could be released Posted June 26, 2009

26
Iun
09

Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson (n. 29 august 1958, d. 25 iunie 2009) a fost un celebru cântăreţ american de muzică pop, supranumit Regele muzicii pop.michael-jackson3Al şaptelea membru al familiei Jackson, Michael Jackson a debutat la vârsta de 11 ani ca membru al formaţiei The Jackson 5 şi şi-a început cariera solo în 1971, în timp ce era încă membru al grupului. Cunoscut ca şi „King of Pop” (Regele muzicii pop) în următorii ani, cinci dintre albumele sale solo au devenit cele mai vândute albume din întreaga lume: „Off the Wall” (1979), „Thriller” (1982), „Bad” (1987), „Dangerous” (1991 ) şi „HIStory” (1995).

La începutul anilor 1980, a devenit o figură dominantă în muzica de masă şi primul artist afro-american care a avut mare succes la MTV. Popularitatea videourilor lui difuzate la MTV, cum ar fi „Beat It”, „Billie Jean” şi „Thriller”, a transformat videourile muzicale într-o formă de artă distinctă şi un instrument de promovare, ajutând un canal relativ nou să câştige faimă. Videouri cum ar fi „Black or White” şi „Scream”, l-au menţinut pe Michael Jackson ca un element de bază la MTV în anii 1990.

Cu un scenariu de muzică şi clipuri video, Michael Jackson a popularizat o serie de tehnici de dans complicat fizic, cum ar fi robotul şi moonwalk-ul. Sunetul lui muzical distinctiv a influenţat numeroşi artişti hip hop, pop şi R&B contemporan.

Michael Jackson a adunat şi a donat milioane de dolari pentru scopuri de caritate prin intermediul turneului „Dangerous World Tour” şi a ajutat 39 de organizaţii de caritate.

Deşi a fost acuzat de pedofilie în 1993, ancheta penală a fost închisă din cauza lipsei de dovezi, Michael Jackson nefiind pus sub urmărire penală.

A fost căsătorit de două ori şi este tatăl a trei copii, provocând mai multe controverse în legătură cu creşterea lor.

În 2005, Michael Jackson a fost judecat şi găsit nevinovat de încă o acuzaţie de abuz sexual.

Unul dintre puţinii artişti care au fost incluşi în Rock and Roll Hall of Fame de două ori, Michael Jackson are mai multe recorduri omologate de Guinness World Records, inclusiv unul pentru „Thriller” ca cel mai vândut album din lume, 13 Premii Grammy, 13 single-uri numărul unu în cariera solo, (mai mult decât oricare alt artist de sex masculin în Hot 100 ERA) şi vânzarea a peste 750 milioane de unităţi în întreaga lume. A fost unul din idolii culturii de masă, timp de aproape patru decenii. A fost menţionat ca fiind unul dintre cei mai celebri bărbaţi.

Michael Jackson a murit la 25 iunie 2009, într-un spital din Los Angeles, în urma unui stop cardiac suferit la locuinţa sa.[1][2]

Biografie

Viaţa timpurie şi era «The Jackson 5» (1958—1975)

Michael Joseph Jackson s-a născut la 29 august 1958 în oraşul Gary, Indiana (o suburbie industrială a oraşului Chicago, Illinois) într-o familie de muncitori. Fiul lui Joseph „Joe” Walter şi Katherine Esther (născută Scruse), el este cel de-al şaptelea din nouă copii. Fraţii săi sunt Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy şi Janet. Joseph Jackson a fost angajat al unei fabrici locale de oţel şi cânta adesea alături de fratele său Luther într-o formaţie de muzică R&B numită The Falcons. Michael Jackson a fost crescut de către mama sa în conformitatea regulilor impuse de Martorii lui Iehova, iar ulterior acesta s-a convertit la Islamism.

De la o vârstă fragedă Michael a fost abuzat fizic şi emoţional de tatăl său, fiind nevoit să îndure ore întregi de repetiţii fără oprire, bătăi şi înjosiri cauzate de înjurături. Abuzurile din copilărie l-au afectat pe tot parcursul vieţii. Marlon Jackson îşi reaminteşte cum tatăl său îl ridica pe Michael ţinându-l de un picior şi „îl snopea în bătaie iar şi iar cu mâna, lovindu-l pe spate şi fund”. Joseph avea probleme frecvent şi îi pedepsea pe băieţii săi lovindu-i de pereţii casei. Într-o noapte, în timp ce Michael dormea, Joseph a intrat în camera sa folosind fereastra deschisă. Purtând o mască înspăimântătoare, Joseph a început să ţipe, vrând să îşi înveţe copiii să nu lase fereastra deschisă, atunci când se duc la culcare. Mulţi ani după acest incident Michael a avut coşmaruri corelate imaginii tatălui său, în care era răpit din propriul dormitor.

Michael a vorbit deschis despre abuzurile din copilaria sa în anul 1993, într-un interviu acordat moderatoarei Oprah Winfrey. El a spus că în timpul copilăriei sale a plâns de multe ori de singurătate. Într-un interviu ce făcea parte din documentarul Living with Michael Jackson (2003), interpretul şi-a acoperit faţa cu mâna şi a început să plângă atunci când vorbea despre copilăria sa.

Michael Jackson şi-a dezvăluit talentul muzical la vârsta de cinci ani în faţa colegilor de clasă şi a altor persoane, în timpul unui recital de Crăciun. În anul 1964, Michael şi Marlon s-au alăturat fraţilor Jackson—un grup muzical format de fraţii Jackie, Tito şi Jermaine—la început fiind muzician de backup. La vârsta de opt ani, Michael şi Jermaine au devenit cântăreţii principali ai formaţiei, care a preluat la vremea respectivă numele The Jackson 5. Trupa a concertat pentru câţiva ani în cluburile şi locurile cunoscute din Vestul mijlociu precum Chitlin’ circuit, unde adesea deschideau reprezentaţiile de striptease şi alte acte pentru adulţi. Conduşi de Michael, ei au câştigat în 1966 un concurs important cu versiuni ale unor şlagăre marca Motown precum hitul lui James Brown, „I Got You (I Feel Good)”.

The Jackson 5 au înregistrat mai multe cântece, precum „Big Boy,” pentru casa de înregistrări Steeltown în 1967, iar în 1968 au semnat un contract de management cu Motown Records. Revista Rolling Stone l-a descris mai târziu pe tânărul Michael ca „un fenomen” cu „talente muzicale copleşitoare”. De asemenea, editorii revistei au observat faptul că Michael a devenit rapid cântăreţul principal al grupului, deşi iniţial se rezuma doar la dans. Cu toate că Michael „cânta cu vocea piţigăiată a unui copil, el dansa precum un dansator profesionist, iar interpretările sale timpurii semănau cu muzica RnB/Soul molipsitoare a unor personalităţi precum Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles şi Stevie Wonder”. Formaţia The Jackson 5 a stabilit un nou record în momentul în care primele patru discuri single lansate („I Want You Back”, „ABC”, „The Love You Save” şi „I’ll Be There”) au câştigat consecutiv prima poziţie în prestigiosul clasament Billboard Hot 100. Pe parcursul primilor ani ai erei The Jackson 5, casa de discuri Motown a spus că Michael ar avea doar nouă ani, cu doi ani mai tânăr decât era în realitate, pentru a-l face să pară mai drăguţ şi mai accesibil publicului.

Începând cu anul 1972, Michael a lansat un total de patru albume pe plan independent, fiind impresariat de casa de discuri Motown, printre ele numărându-se Got to Be There şi Ben. Acestea au fost puse, ca parte din franciza The Jackson 5, şi au produs discuri single de succes precum „Got to Be There”, „Ben” şi o preluare a cântecului „Rockin’ Robin”, original al lui Bobby Day. Popularitatea şi vânzările grupului se aflau la mijlocul anilor 1970 în scădere continuă. Formaţia a mai înregistrat câteva hituri minore precum „Dancing Machine” sau „I Am Love” înainte de a încheia contractul cu Motown.

1976–1981: Pleacă la Epic şi Off the Wall

Jackson 5 au semnat un nou contract cu CBS Records, în iunie 1975, prima aderare la Philadelphia International Records şi apoi Epic Records. Ca rezultat al procedurilor legale, grupul a fost redenumit The Jacksons. După schimbarea numelui, trupa a continuat un turneu internaţional, lansând încă şase albume între 1976 şi 1984. Din 1976 până în 1984, Michael Jackson a fost principalul compozitor al grupului scriind hituri ca „Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)”, „This Place Hotel” şi „Can You Feel It”.

În 1978, Michael a jucat rolul unei sperietoare în filmul muzical „The Wiz”. Muzica au fost orchestrată de Quincy Jones, care a format un parteneriat cu Michael Jackson, în timpul producţiei filmului şi acordul de a produce cântăreţului albumul solo „Off the Wall”.

În 1979, Michael şi-a rupt nasul în timp ce dansa. Rinoplastia nu a fost complet reuşită, Michael plângându-se de dificultăţi respiratorii, fapt care i-a afectat cariera. A fost îndrumat la Dr. Steven Hoefflin, care i-a făcut cea de-a doua rinoplastie.

Jones şi Michael au produs împreună „Off The Wall”. Lansat în 1979, „Off The Wall” a fost primul album care a generat patru US top 10 hituri, inclusiv graficul de single de calitatea întâi „Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” şi „Rock With You”. „Off The Wall” a ajuns pe locul trei pe Billboard 200 şi de atunci a fost certificat ca fiind vândut în 7 milioane de exemplare în SUA, în cele din urmă vânzându-se mai mult de 15 de milioane de exemplare în întreaga lume.

În 1980, Michael Jackson a câştigat trei premii la American Music Awards pentru eforturile sale solo: Albumul favorit Soul/R&B, artistul Soul/R&B favorit şi favoritul single Soul/R&B (pentru „Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”). În acel an, a câştigat de asemenea, Billboard Music Awards pentru „Top Black Artist” şi „Top Black Album” şi un premiu Grammy pentru „Best Male R&B Vocal Performance” (pentru „Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”). În ciuda succesului său comercial, Michael a simţit că „Off The Wall” ar fi trebuit să aibă un impact mult mai mare şi a fost determinat de a depăşi aşteptările sale cu următorul album.

În 1980, Michael a obţinut cea mai mare rată de drepturi de autor în industria muzicală: 37% din cel mai mare beneficiu album.

În martie 2009, Jackson a anunţat că începând cu 8 iulie, va susţine un turneu de 10 concerte mai târziu adăugându-se încă 40 — intitulat: „This Is It”. Concertele urmau să aibă loc în Arena 02 din Londra. El a explicat „Vreau doar să spun că aceasta vor fi ultimulele mele concerte în Londra. Când spun ultimele, vorbesc serios”, adăugând că „ultima cortină va cădea”.

Cel mai bine vândut album al său este „Thriller”, care este pe primul loc dintre cele mai vândute albume ale tuturor timpurilor, urmat pe locul 2 de cei de la AC/DC cu „Back In Black”.

Decesul

La amiaza zilei de 25 iunie 2009, Michael Jackson a suferit un stop cardiac la domiciliul său din Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. Paramedicii care au ajuns de urgenţă la reşedinţa artistului au spus mai târziu că acesta era fără suflare. Cu toate acestea paramedicii au făcut manevre de resuscitare cardiopulmonară la faţa locului, apoi au dus pacientul, care intrase în comă, la Centrul Medical UCLA. Decesul a fost declarat în jurul orei 14:26 (ora locală) în aceeaşi zi.

24
Iun
09

Nasterea Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul (Sanzienele – Dragaica)

Predica la Nasterea Sfantului Ioan BotezatorulNasterea Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul

nasterea sf ioan botezatorulSoarele cel neapus, Hristos, Mantuitorul nostru, vrand sa rasara lumii, si acum plecand cerurile si pogorandu-Se in pantecele fecioresc cel mai curat decat cerurile, se cadea mai intai sa iasa luceafarul din cea stearpa, adica Sfantul Ioan Inaintemergatorul, ca sa mearga inainte, ca un vestitor, propovaduind si zicand: Vine Cel mai tare decat mine, in urma mea. Deci, implinindu-se vremea Sfintei Elisabeta ca sa nasca, a nascut fiu la batranetile sale din pantece sterp, precum de demult Sara a nascut pe Isaac. Mai inainte de a naste Fecioara pe Hristos, a nascut cea stearpa, in zilele sale pe Inaintemergatorul lui Hristos, ca acei ce vor vedea nasterea cea peste fire din cea imbatranita, sa creada nasterii celei mai presus de fire, care avea sa fie din Fecioara cea nenuntita si sa zica in sine: „Puterea cea atotputernica a lui Dumnezeu, Care a dezlegat nerodirea batranei, aceea este puternica ca si pe Fecioara cea neintinata sa o faca maica”.

Nasterea cea minunata a Sfantului Ioan a fost inaintemergatoare Nasterii lui Hristos cea minunata. Minunea se astepta dupa minune; dupa maica cea stearpa, Maica cea pururea Fecioara; dupa nasterea cea minunata a Elisabetei, nasterea cea straina a Fecioarei, pentru ca la amandoua maicile, randuiala nasterii covarsea randuielile firii, asa voind Dumnezeu, Caruia toata firea ii este slujitoare ca unui Ziditor.

Iar dupa ce Elisabeta a nascut, vecinii care locuiau imprejur au auzit de aceasta, asemenea rudeniile si cunoscutii si toti se bucurau impreuna cu ea; caci Domnul a facut mila cu dansa, ridicand de la dansa ocara nerodirii de copii. Astfel, s-au implinit cuvintele Binevestitorului Gavriil, care a zis catre Zaharia: Femeia ta va naste fiu si multi se vor bucura de nasterea lui! Deci pe de o parte se bucurau rudeniile, iar pe de alta, aceia care erau cuprinsi cu mare dorinta pentru Mesia Cel asteptat, desi nu stiau ca a sosit taina intruparii lui Hristos, insa in vremea nasterii Inaintemergatorului lui Hristos, duhul lor se pornea intr-insii spre bucurie, Sfantul Duh veselind inimile lor, ca si cum le dadea o instiintare pentru castigarea asteptarii lor.

Si in ziua a opta au venit preotii si prietenii in casa lui Zaharia, ca sa taie pruncul imprejur si toti voiau sa-i puna numele tatalui sau, Zaharia; dar maica lui nu se invoia, pentru ca, fiind sotie de prooroc si nascatoare de prooroc, Sfanta Elisabeta era ea insasi plina de darul proorociei. Deci ea prooroceste a poruncit ca pruncul cel nascut al lor sa se numeasca cu acel nume pe care nu il auzise de la barbat, de vreme ce el s-a intors de la biserica la casa sa avandu-si legata limba cu amutire si nu putea sa spuna sotiei sale cum a vazut pe ingerul care i-a binevestit zamislirea fiului sau si a zis: Vei pune numele lui Ioan. Deci de Sfantul Duh fiind povatuita maica, a numit pe prunc Ioan, ca o proorocita, caci ea a cunoscut prooroceste si venirea la dansa a Maicii lui Dumnezeu si i-a zis: De unde-mi este mie aceasta, ca sa vina Maica Domnului meu la mine? Iar cei ce voiau sa taie imprejur pruncul, faceau semne tatalui sau, cum ar voi sa-l numeasca. Iar el, cerand o tablita, a scris: Ioan sa-i fie numele lui! Si indata s-a deschis gura lui Zaharia si limba lui s-a dezlegat din amutire si vorbea, binecuvantand pe Dumnezeu.

Atunci toti s-au minunat de acele mari minuni: cum a nascut cea imbatranita, cum maica si tatal cel mut s-au unit la un nume, cu care sa numeasca pe fiu si cum, dupa scrierea numelui, mutul indata a grait si, ce a scris cu mana, aceea a grait si cu limba. Deci numele lui Ioan s-a facut ca o cheie a gurilor parintilor, deschizandu-le spre slava lui Dumnezeu. Astfel a cuprins frica si mirarea pe toti cei ce vietuiau imprejur, pentru ca toti cei ce auzeau acestea se minunau cu spaima de acele preaslavite minuni ale lui Dumnezeu si se povesteau cuvintele acestea in toata partea muntelui Iudeei, adica in hotarele Hebronului, cetatea preotilor, unde era casa lui Zaharia. Pentru ca acea cetate, inca din zilele lui Isus Navi a fost hotarata Sfantitei semintii a lui Aaron; iar de la Ierusalim si pana la dansa era cale de opt ceasuri. Acea cetate era mai departe de Betleem, la un loc mai inalt, si se numea „cetatea muntelui”, pentru muntii sai cei inalti, iar hotarele ei se numeau „partile muntelui”, precum se scrie in Evanghelie despre Preacurata Nascatoare de Dumnezeu: Sculandu-se Maria din Nazaretul Galileei, s-a dus la munte degraba in cetatea Iudeei – adica in Hebron -, si a intrat in casa lui Zaharia si s-a inchinat Elisabetei.

Deci, intr-acea parte a muntelui, cei ce auzeau de maririle lui Dumnezeu, care se faceau in casa lui Zaharia, se minunau foarte mult si graiau intre ei: Ce va sa fie pruncul acesta? Ca mana Domnului era cu el si Dumnezeu inmultea intr-insul darul Sau si-l pazea de sabia lui Irod, caci despre minunata nastere a lui Ioan ajunsese vestea pana la Irod, care se mira de aceea si zicea: Ce va sa fie pruncul acesta ? Iar cand S-a nascut Domnul nostru Iisus Hristos in Betleemul Iudeei si au venit magii de la rasarit, intreband de Imparatul cel de curand nascut, atunci Irod, trimitand ostasi in Betleem sa ucida pe toti pruncii de acolo, si-a adus aminte de Ioan, fiul lui Zaharia, de care auzise acele minuni, si a zis in sine: „Oare acela are sa fie imparatul Iudeei?” Si, gandandu-se sa-l ucida, a trimis intr-adins ucigasi la Hebron in casa lui Zaharia. Dar trimisii n-au gasit pe Sfantul Ioan, pentru ca, incepand din Betleem acea fara de Dumnezeu ucidere de prunci, s-a auzit in Hebron glas si strigare, ca nu era foarte departe, si s-a stiut pricina acelei strigari.

Si indata Sfanta Elisabeta a luat pe pruncul Ioan si a fugit in muntele cel mai inalt al pustiului; iar Sfantul Zaharia, precum se scrie in viata lui, era atunci in Ierusalim, slujind dupa obicei in biserica, in randuiala saptamanii sale, care se intamplase tocmai in acea vreme. Deci, ascunzandu-se Sfanta Elisabeta in acel munte, se ruga lui Dumnezeu cu lacrimi, s-o apere impreuna cu pruncul. Si cand a vazut de sus pe ostasi cercetand cu de-amanuntul si apropiindu-se, a strigat catre un munte de piatra ce se afla acolo: „Munte al lui Dumnezeu, primeste pe maica cu fiul sau!” Atunci indata s-a desfacut muntele acela si, primind-o pe maica inauntrul sau, s-a ascuns de ucigasii care o cautau. Iar ostasii, negasind pe cel cautat, s-au intors inapoi la cel ce-i trimisese.

Atunci Irod a trimis la Zaharia in biserica, zicand: „Da-mi mie pe fiul tau, Ioan”. Iar Sfantul Zaharia a raspuns: „Acum slujesc Domnului Dumnezeului lui Israel, iar fiul meu nu stiu unde este!” Iar Irod, maniindu-se, a trimis la dansul a doua oara si a poruncit, ca, daca nu-si va da fiul, atunci sa-l ucida si pe el. Deci s-au dus niste ucigasi salbatici ca niste fiare, sarguindu-se sa-si savarseasca porunca, si au zis cu manie catre preotul lui Dumnezeu: „Unde ai ascuns pe fiul tau? Sa ni-l dai noua, ca asa a poruncit imparatul, iar daca nu-l vei da, vei muri indata!” Sfantul Zaharia a raspuns: „Voi imi veti ucide trupul, iar Domnul imi va primi sufletul”. Atunci ucigasii, pornindu-se, dupa porunca lui Irod, l-au ucis intre biserica si altar; iar sangele lui, care s-a varsat pe marmura, s-a inchegat si s-a facut tare ca piatra, spre marturia lui Irod si spre vesnica lui osanda. Iar Elisabeta, acoperandu-se de Dumnezeu impreuna cu pruncul Ioan, petrecea in muntele ce se desfacuse; pentru ca, prin porunca dumnezeiasca, li se facuse lor acolo o pestera. Tot acolo curgea si un izvor de apa si crescuse inaintea pesterii un finic plin de roade, iar cand era vremea mancarii, acel pom se pleca si-si dadea roadele sale spre mancare, apoi iar se ridica.

Apoi, dupa patruzeci de zile de la uciderea lui Zaharia, Sfanta Elisabeta, maica Mergatorului inainte, a murit in pestera aceea. Iar Sfantul Ioan, ramanand singur, a fost hranit de inger pana la cresterea lui si pazit in pustietati, pana in ziua aratarii sale catre Israel. Astfel pazea si acoperea mana Domnului pe Sfantul Ioan, ca el sa mearga inaintea fetei Lui cu duhul si cu puterea lui Ilie si sa gateasca cale Celui ce venea sa mantuiasca neamul omenesc. Deci pentru toate acestea sa se slaveasca Hristos Dumnezeu, Mantuitorul nostru, impreuna cu Tatal si cu Sfantul Duh in veci. Amin.

24
Iun
09

Dragaica sau Sanzienele

In ziua de 24 iunie a fiecarui an bisericesc, Biserica Ortodoxa face pomenirea Nasterii Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul, cunoscuta in popor si cu denumirea de Dragaica sau Sanziene.

Biserica Ortodoxa serbeaza de obicei ziua mortii sfintilor, ca ziua lor de nastere. Numai Maica Domnului si Sfantul Ioan Botezatorul fac exceptie de la aceasta regula; ei au privilegiul de a li se sarbatori atat zamislirea (23 septembrie, 9 decembrie) si nasterea (8 septembrie, 24 iunie), cat si alte evenimente din viata lor (ca Bunavestire, Aflarea capului Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul).

Sarbatoarea Nasterii Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul are un temei biblic, pentru ca evenimentul amintit este consemnat de Sfantul Evanghelist Luca cu amanunte in Evanghelia Sa. Nasterea aceasta a avut loc cu sase luni inainte de cea a Domnului lisus Hristos. Sarbatoarea apare atestata documentar in secolele IV-V, cand se fixeaza definitiv si data Craciunului.

Sarbatoarea Nasterii Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul, la 24 iunie, se pare ca a fost instituita dupa unii cercetatori, spre a inlocui sarbatorile pagane, cu caracter agricol sau naturist, din epoca solstitiului de vara (22-23 iunie).

Dragaica, Sanzienele in traditia populara

In calendarul popular, ziua de 24 iunie este cunoscuta sub denumirea de Sanziene sau Dragaica.

Desi sunt asociate sarbatorii crestine a Nasterii Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul si a Aducerii Moastelor Sfantului Ioan cel Nou de la Suceava, Sanzienele isi au originea intr-un stravechi cult solar. Denumirea este preluata probabil, de la Sancta Diana, zeita silvestra. Sanzienele erau considerate, inca din vremea lui Cantemir, ca reprezentari fitomorfe (Florile de Sanziene) si divinitati antropomorfe. In credinta populara, Sanzienele erau considerate a fi niste femei frumoase, niste adevarate preotese ale soarelui, divinitati nocturne ascunse prin padurile intunecate, neumblate de om.

Nu este exclus ca in vremuri indepartate populatia din munti sa se fi intalnit la momentele solstitiale (Sanzienele) sau echinoctiale pentru a savarsi ritualuri inchinate Soarelui. Megalitii din Muntii Calimani, pe care s-au descoperit insemne solare (rozete, soarele antropomorfizat), pot fi marturii in acest sens.

Conform traditiei, Sanzienele plutesc in aer sau umbla pe pamant in noaptea de 23 spre 24 iunie, canta si danseaza, impart rod holdelor, umplu de fecunditate femeile casatorite, inmultesc animalele si pasarile, umplu de leac si miros florile si tamaduiesc bolile si suferintele oamenilor.

Spre deosebire de Rusalii, care sunt reprezentari fantastice aducatoare de rele, Sanzienele sunt zane bune. Dar ele pot deveni si forte daunatoare, lovindu-i pe cei pacatosi cu „lantul Sanzienelor”, pot starni din senin si vijelii, pot aduce grindina, lasand campul fara de rod si florile fara de leac.

In ajunul sau in ziua de Sanziene se intalneau practici si obiceiuri de divinatie, de aflare a ursitei si a norocului in gospodarie.

In dimineata de Sanziene inainte de rasaritul soarelui oamenii strangeau buchete de Sanziene pe care le impleteau in coronite si le arucau pe acoperisul caselor. Se considera ca omul va trai mult in cazul in care coronita ramanea pe casa sau, dimpotriva ca va muri repede, atunci cand coronita, aluneca spre marginea acoperisului sau cadea de pe acoperis.

Fetele strangeau flori de Sanziene pentru a le pune sub perna, in noaptea care premergea sarbatoarea, in credinta ca, in acest fel isi vor visa ursitul. In unele zone fetele isi faceau coronite din Sanziene pe care le lasau peste noapte in gradini sau in locuri curate. Daca dimineata gaseau coronitele pline de roua, era semn sigur de maritis in vara care incepea.

Gospodarii incercau sa afle care le va fi norocul la animale, tot cu ajutorul florilor de Sanziene, in seara din ajunul sarbatorii agatau cununi de Sanziene la coltul casei orientat catre rasarit si daca, a doua zi, in coronite erau prinse par de la anumte animale, sau puf / pene de la pasari considerau ca anul va fi bun mai ales pentru acestea.

Florile culese in ziua de Sanziene prinse in coronite sau legate in forma de cruce, erau duse la biserica pentru a fi sfintite si erau pastrate, apoi, pentru diverse practici magice.

Sarbatoarea Sanzienelor care marcheaza mijlocul verii, era considerata a fi si momentul optim pentru culegerea plantelor de leac.

Tot acum se faceau previziuni meteorologice: in functie de momentul in care rasarea Constelatia Gainusei, se determina perioada prielnica pentru semanatul graului de toamna.

Sarbatoarea Sanzienelor mai este cunoscuta in popor si sub denumirea de Amutitul Cucului. Se crede ca daca cucul inceteaza sa cante inainte de Sanziene, inseamna ca vara va fi secetoasa.

Pentru a fi sanatosi si avea spor in munca, in acest moment de inceput al secerisului, oamenii se incingeau peste sale cu tulpini de cicoare.

Pentru a fi placute feciorilor, fetele se spalau pe cap, in aceasta zi cu fiertura de iarba mare. Pentru a scapa de boli, fetele si nevestele se scaldau ritual in ape curgatoare iar pentru a se umple de fertilitate, femeile se tavaleau dezbracate in roua, dimineata, inainte de rasaritul Soarelui.

Pentru alungarea spiritelor malefice se aprindeau focuri in care se aruncau substante puternic mirositoare, se buciuma si se striga in jurul focurilor.

In unele sate din sud-vestul Bucovinei, putea fi intalnit, cu ani in urma, obiceiul „boului instrutat”. In cadrul ceremonialului, masca taurina murea si renastea simbolic la acest inceput de timp calendaristic.

Pentru pomenirea mortilor se fac pomeni imbelsugate si se pun flori mirositoare pe morminte.

De Sanziene au loc balciuri si iarmaroace. Acestea erau in trecut un bun prilej pentru intalnirea tinerilor in vederea casatoriei. Printre cele mai renumite targuri se numara cele de la Buzau, Focsani, Campulung Muscel, Buda, din judetul Vrancea, Ipatesti, judetul Olt, Pitesti, Carbunesti, judetul Olt, Giurgeni, judetul Ialomita, Brosteni, judetul Mehedinti) si, cel mai cunoscut, Targul de Fete de pe Muntele Gaina.

Sub aspect religios, in ziua de 24 iunie, in Bucovina se sarbatoreste cu mare fast Aducerea moastelor Sfantului Ioan cel Nou de la Suceava. Acum, ca si alta data, in aceasta zi se aduna mii de pelerini pentru a participa la ceremonia scoaterii moastelor Sfantului Ioan.




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Aghiasma Ajunul Bobotezei apa sfintita Apostolii care si-au rascumparat trecutul Biserica Sfanta Maria Magdalena - Ierusalim Buna Vestire Capul Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul Ce-i de făcut când soţii nu se mai înţeleg? cel intai chemat Ce putem face când apar necazurile în familie Ce simbolizeaza semnul Crucii savarsit de credinciosi? cinstit de musulmani Cred dacă ai trei lucruri… dar „miluiește-mă” el nu suportă să audă niciodată De ce aprindem candele înaintea icoanelor? Despre pacat si boala Diavolul e de acord ca să zici aproape orice cuvânt Doamne DUMNEZEU EVANGHELIA ZILEI: 2014-05-08 Focsani frate fraților! Hristos Icoana Pogorarii Sfantului Duh Icoana Sfantului Gheorghe de la Manastirea Zografu Icoanele in cultul ortodox Ilie Inaltarea Domnului Ingerul pazitor in Vinerea Mare Ispitele Izvorul Tamaduirii Joia din Saptamana Patimilor Lunea Sfantului Duh Manastirea Sfantul Pantelimon - Sfantul Munte Athos Nasterea Maicii Domnului Nasterea Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul Nimeni nu L-a vazut pe Hristos inviind Nimic rău nu te atinge Noi Nu te atinge de Mine omule Petru si Pavel - sarbatoarea dragostei lui Hristos Piata Unirii Postul Postul Sfintelor Pasti Postul Sfintilor Apostoli Petru si Pavel Predica la duminica dinaintea Inaltarii Sfintei Cruci Predica la Duminica Sfintei Cruci Predică la Duminica a IX-a după Rusalii - Umblarea pe mare - Potolirea furtunii Preot Tudor Marin Rugăciune către Maica Domnului Rugăciune către Maica Domnului pentru potolirea întristărilor Rugăciune de mulţumire către Maica Domnului Saptamana Alba Saptamana Luminata Sf. Ioan Botezatorul sfantul care aduce ploaia Sfantul Epitaf Sfantul Mucenic Gheorghe Sfantul Pantelimon Sfintii 40 de Mucenici Sfintii Arhangheli Mihail si Gavriil Sfintii Imparati Constantin si Elena Sfintii Petru si Pavel Să vă mărturisiţi şi să vă cununaţi la biserică Taierea capului Sfantului Ioan Botezatorul Trecerea pe sub masa Viaţa şi pătimirea Sfîntului Sfinţitului Mucenic Ciprian şi a Sfintei Muceniţe Iustina fecioara “Maica Domnului “Miluiește-mă „Doamne Iisuse Hristoase „Părinte